Fed Govt Seeks To Manage N150bn Unclaimed Dividends
The federal government is proposing to take over the management of over N150 billion unclaimed dividends and unutilised bank balances.
The proposal is contained in the 2020 Finance Bill, currently being considered by the National Assembly.
Speaking at a public hearing on the executive bill yesterday at the National Assembly, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the proposal was in line with the provisions of the Constitution.
She said any funds that are lying fallow after a certain period of time cannot be taken over but such funds could be borrowed. The minister said, “We have funds sitting in the registrars and funds sitting in the banks which are not helpful to the system. The government is just trying to make use of the funds in the interest of Nigerians because there is no point having idle funds in the banks whereas the government needs money to carry out many developmental projects,” she said.
She also said that the federal government proposed reducing the length of time that the unclaimed dividends could revert to the companies.
“We are proposing six years. It would be a pool of funds and whoever comes up with a request for refund would have enough to collect,” she said.
The representative of the Security and Exchange Commission, Abdulkadir Abbas, said the SEC has come up with innovations over the years to minimise cases of unclaimed dividends.