The Fiscal Policy Reforms Committee has urged Nigerians with unclaimed dividends and dormant account balances not more than 6 years old, to commence the process of claiming them.
This was disclosed by Mr. Bode Oyetunde, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Finance and Fiscal Matters and Secretary of the committee at the Finance Act 2020 Stakeholder Engagement webinar, on Thursday.
The Committee urged Nigerians to begin the process, as concerns have been raised over the FG’s plans to borrow funds from unclaimed dividends and dormant account balances through the Debt Management Office (DMO).
“If you have bank balances and unclaimed dividends that are not six years and above, this has no implication on you,” he said.
“If you have unclaimed dividends in a company, that is not a public limited one listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, you have no issue. If you do, you can start the process of taking back your unclaimed dividends and if it is a bank balance, go and get your bank balances.
“All these will be done in consultation with the bankers’ committee, CBN and the banks for the unclaimed bank balances and unclaimed dividends, registrars, Securities and Exchange Commission, other regulatory bodies,” Oyetunde added.
He stated that the FG would be transparent with the dividends raised for budget funding, citing that Nigeria’s Sovereign debt management would never be placed in private hands as it is the sole responsibility of the FG.
“Sovereign Debt Management is the responsibility of the minister responsible for finance, and it is the responsibility of government. There is nowhere in the world, I am aware of, where Sovereign Debt Management is ceded to the private sector.
“We have the DMO established by law, and it is supposed to be the minister responsible for finance that will handle his or her duties in the emergence of any debt, and in terms of management of the funds that will be operated by the DMO,” he said.
What you should know
- Recall Nairametrics reported last month that the Finance Act 2020 signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recommended that the Federal Government could borrow from unclaimed dividends and dormant account balances under the Unclaimed Funds Trust Fund.
- The House Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions raised an alarm over the growing unclaimed dividends in the capital market, projected to cross the N200 billion mark at the close of 2020.
- The Nigerian Senate has ruled out the use of unclaimed dividends to fund the 2021 Budget.
- Shareholders under the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) have rejected the establishment of unclaimed dividend trust fund proposed in the Finance Bill 2021.
- Some capital market experts have also rejected the plan by the Federal Government of Nigeria to manage unclaimed dividends.
FG moves to appoint fund manager for $37 billion infrastructure company
The FG has arranged to engage an asset manager for its newly set up Infrastructure Company of Nigeria Ltd.
The Federal Government has concluded plans to engage an asset manager for its newly set up Infrastructure Company of Nigeria Ltd. (Infra-Co), to raise about N15 trillion ($36.7 billion) for projects and accelerate growth in Africa’s biggest economy.
This is coming barely 2 weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the government’s N1 trillion initial seed capital for the Infrastructure company, which will be set up under a Public-Private Partnership.
According to a report from Bloomberg, a source who wants to remain anonymous said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its funding partners, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and state-owned Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, are seeking proposals from companies to independently manage the infrastructure company’s fund-raising plan.
The sought after fund manager will be responsible for coordinating the total equity capital and associated debt raise required by the company with the asset managers seeking the role expected to have been active in infrastructure financing.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had earlier said that the government needs to be innovative in its approach to developing infrastructure in the country and believes that InfraCorp will be a major game-changer in this regard.
Some firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey and KPMG have expressed interest in getting the role of transaction advisers on the deal with Ukiri Lijadu and Co. and Kenna Partners appointed legal advisers.
This is as the report says that the firms were either not available to confirm the development or could not make any comment yet.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, had earlier approved the government’s seed capital of N1 trillion for InfraCo, an infrastructure company, which will be wholly focused on critical infrastructure investment in the country, under a Public-Private Partnership.
- The President had said that InfraCo will be raising funds from the CBN, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Pension funds, and local and foreign private sector development financiers.
- This will help boost infrastructure investments to stimulate economic growth after exiting its second recession in 4 years in the fourth quarter and bridge the infrastructural gap in the country, with Nigeria needing at least $3 trillion over 30 years to close its infrastructure deficit.
Afreximbank sets up a $500 million fund to support Africa’s creative industries
African Export-Import Bank has set up a $500 million fund to support Africa’s creative industries.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim Bank) has set up a $500 million fund to support Africa’s creative industries as the continent faces a challenge to effectively monetize its creative output.
This disclosure was made by Afreximbank President, Benedict Oramah at a virtual “fireside chat” on Tuesday organized by the Africa Soft Power Project, entitled “The New Face of African Collaboration.”
According to Africa Investment Forum Senior Director, Chinelo Anohu,
“Digital platforms in Africa should scale up to take advantage of the continent’s surging demand for creative content, and the African Development Bank flagship entity is providing advisory services and investment support to creative players.
“The Africa Investment Forum was working to promote content deals as well as digital infrastructure projects to advance creative industries, including support to smaller players.
“At AIF 2019, we had a very interesting entrepreneur scheme which saw those that were not as big get the kind of funding they needed to get beyond getting a feasibility study done.
“Data is one of the African Development Bank’s strong points. They have a fantastic research division, and what we’re trying to do is mainstream that data culled from 55 countries and distill it in such a manner that the investors can easily access the information they need.
“Support for intellectual property rights and equipping investors with the data they need to tackle negative perceptions about investing in Africa are key priorities for Africa Investment Forum.
What you should know
- The event was held against the backdrop of the recent coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
- Discussion at the event primarily focused on the role of infrastructure and connectivity in advancing Africa’s creative industries, including film, textiles and design.
- It is important to note that 2021 is also the African Union’s year of arts, culture and heritage.
- In January 2020, Afreximbank set up a $500 million fund to support Africa’s creative industries.
- It is strongly believed that AfCFTA would help address some of the key challenges to boosting Africa’s creative output.
- The Africa Investment Forum, championed by the African Development Bank and its founding and institutional partners, works to accelerate the closure of the continent’s investment gaps. The Forum currently has a growing portfolio of 118 deals valued at $114 billion.
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