Unclaimed dividends and bank account balances are unattended to for a minimum of six years can be accessed as special credit to the federal government through the unclaimed Funds monetary fund.
According to the Finance Act 2020 recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, the trust fund is going to be a sub-fund of the crisis intervention Fund.
“Any unclaimed dividend of a public limited liability company quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and any unutilised amounts in a dormant bank account maintained in or by a deposit money bank which has remained unclaimed or unutilised for a period of not less than six years from the date of declaring the dividend or domiciling the funds in a bank account shall be transferred immediately to the trust fund,” the act read.
The act exempts official bank accounts owned by the federal government, state government or local governments or any of their ministries, departments or agencies.
According to the act, the monies transferred to the monetary fund are going to be a “special debt owed by the federal government to shareholders and dormant checking account holders”.
It conjointly states that the first owners of the cash will claim it at any time.
The operation of the trust fund is going to be supervised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) and ruled by a governing council chaired by the minister and a co-chairperson from the non-public sector appointed by the president.
Other members of the governing council shall embody the governor of the central bank of Nigeria (CBN), director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), managing director of the National Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), a representative of the registrars of companies, two representatives of the shareholders’ association, a representative of the Bankers’ Committee and the director-general of the Debt Management office because of the secretary of the trust fund.
This move can build required funds accessible to the federal government while not exchange worries or conditions hooked up to loans from multilateral lenders.
According to the Debt Management Office, Nigeria owed $31.98 billion to multilateral lenders just like the world bank monetary fund, the International fund (IMF), and African Development Bank (AfDB) group as of September 2020.