The Minister of Finance Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), to fully investigate and prosecute all the directors and Executive management who contributed to the collapse of Skye Bank.

The minister gave the directive during her familiarization visit to the Executive Management of the NDIC on Friday.

Ahmad, who decried the spate of non-performing loans in the banking industry, stressed that bail-out of distressed financial institutions was necessary in the interest of the stability of the banking system.

This is even as she reiterated the need to prosecute delinquent board directors and executive management of financial insitutions who abused depositors’ trust.

The minister urged the regulators of the financial sector to use the recent failure of the defunct Skye Bank Plc as an opportunity to deal decisively with any of its directors and management found culpable in the course of the investigations, so as to serve as a deterrent to other operators in the financial system.

Ahmad said further that the investigation was necessary as government is no longer prepared to treat such serious infractions with levity.

Earlier in his welcome address, NDIC’s Managing Director, Umaru Ibrahim, assured the minister that the corporation would continue to fulfil its mandate to assist in the recovery of all the debts owed the defunct Skye Bank and other banks in liquidation.

He also expressed the corporation’s determination to ensure that directors involved in insider abuse and other illegalities in running the affairs of the bank were investigated and prosecuted in the law court, adding that NDIC is established to ensure the safety of depositors’ funds and minimise the disruption of banking services.

The NDIC boss told the minister that since 1991, the aggregate payment to depositors, creditors and shareholders of 46 closed banks amounted to N11.75 billion, out of which the total payments to insured depositors of Deposit Money Banks amounted to N8.252 billion.

In addition, Ibrahim explained that a total of N2.89 billion was paid out to insured depositors of Microfinance Banks (MFBs) covering 81,657 individual accounts, while N69.60 million was also paid to insured depositors of Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs).

Putting the number of DMBs currently in liquidation at 46, the deposit insurer assured that the Corporation would ensure that no staff of defunct Skye Bank is sacked as a result of the bank’s takeover.