Why Going For Unclaimed And Dormant Accounts?

By Abba Dukawa
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President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2020 finance act on December 31, 2020. The Act, takes effect January 1, 2021. Now the Buhari's administration has perfected ways to borrow funds from unclaimed dividends and dormant bank account balances unattended to for at least six years. Capital market shareholders are against it and said the government lacks powers to manage funds belonging to private sector investors.

Even though dividends are private wealth of investors, either individuals or corporate entities. The idea of converting such private wealth to federal wealth negates the relevant provisions of the rights to own property as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.

In view with guaranteed of rights to own property as provided by the 1999 Constitution, this move by federal government of taking over of unclaimed dividends was unnecessary because capital market regulators and operators had leveraged technology to put in place initiatives that are already addressing the issue.

But many shareholders had opposed the provisions of the law, saying the government lacks powers to manage funds belonging to private sector investors. In spite the existence law before this financial act clearly states that there shall be no forceful takeover of any private movable property of any Nigerian without due and appropriate compensation and or valid court order.

Is this not forceful takeover of private funds. To be fair how can a shareholder with an unclaimed dividend of about N10,000 expected him go to Abuja just to make a claim of the unpaid dividend. Is this not stressful for owner to request for returns of his fund considering bureaucratic bottleneck in the country is too inefficient and will not help the claimant to access his unclaimed dividend problem been solve.

Nigeria Since 2015 had perpetually with the twin problem of heavy budget deficits and weak balance of payments position. The situation could have been avoided if the nation's legislators were alive to their constitutional responsibilities.

What is the guarantee that the incoming administration in the next two years and the subsequent ones will have the capacity to repay Nigeria’s debt that has reached a scary situation where total debt stock stood at some humongous rose to N31. 009 trillion ($85.897 billion). Almost every day, Concerns Nigerians and Economists experts express worries over the country's rising debt profile. Even in 2021 Budget N3.3trn will go to Debt Servicing.

Nigerians concern, however, is who will pay these huge debts? Really not us and also too weighty for the lean shoulders of our children? Is this not our children will be turns to slaves in their own country by the creditor nations, just because they want to pay off the debts left by the frivolous political class that have ravaged our common patrimony?

One is surprised too about the speed with which leaders at all level go for questionable bonds while legislators were preoccupied with determining their immediate benefits with unnecessary and conventional allowances which took no account of the state of the economy and the welfare of the people they represented.

Dukawa write in from Kano can be reached at ( [email protected] )

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