Dr. AbdulHakeem Abdul Lateef, the immediate past chairman of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), has retracted his earlier allegations against the corporation, stating that it is a responsible institution that operates within the confines of the law.
In a letter titled “My best 26 days as a political leader,” Abdul Lateef highlighted the positive changes brought about during his tenure.
Just days before assuming the role of board chairman, Abdul Lateef took to social media to allege corruption within the NDIC and claimed that it had been taken over by a “cabal.” However, within 24 hours of his video going viral, he issued a letter reversing his previous statements.
Abdul Lateef expressed gratitude for his 26-day tenure, during which he believed he achieved significant progress in improving the nation’s economy through the enhancement of the financial sector.
His appointment officially began on May 25, 2023, but due to the dissolution of all Federal Government Boards and parastatals, except those listed in the Constitution, his tenure came to an end after 26 days.
The former chairman emphasized his commitment to maintaining his reputation, honor, and integrity throughout his tenure. He also urged Nigerians to oppose the new act and called on President Bola Tinubu to investigate it.
However, investigations by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that Abdul Lateef’s allegation that the NDIC fails to pay depositors of failed banks was unfounded. The NDIC had reported paying N113.2 billion to depositors of failed banks in June 2022. The corporation has also made payments to insured depositors of recently affected banks even before Abdul Lateef’s board was inaugurated.
In a subsequent post on his verified Facebook account, the former chairman encouraged individuals with outstanding deposit issues to write to the managing director of the NDIC, assuring them that their concerns would be addressed promptly.
Abdul Lateef’s appointment came shortly before former President Muhammadu Buhari signed the NDIC (repeal and reenactment) bill of 2023 into law on May 26. The new act stipulates that only the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance can chair the governing board of the NDIC.
Abdul Lateef’s retraction and praise for the NDIC’s integrity shed a different light on the initial allegations, highlighting the need for accurate information and transparency in public discourse.