OrderPaperToday-The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate over N126.03 unclaimed dividends in Nigerian banks.
This move followed the adoption of a motion moved by Babangida Ibrahim (APC, Katsina).
Unclaimed dividends are shared profits from investment which have not been claimed by the beneficiary.
Ibrahim, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Currency and Capital Market Institutions, noted in his motion that the unclaimed dividends continue to rise from N2.09billion in 1999 to N129.03billion in 2019.
The lawmaker disclosed that “the value of unclaimed dividends in 1999 was just N2.09 billion, between 2002 and November 2016, the value of unclaimed dividends has increased from N5.1 billion to N103.1 billion.
“Almost three (3) years after the 8th House of Representatives’ intervention, the value of unclaimed dividends as at March 2019 stands at a whooping sum of N126.03 billion.”
He said that the unclaimed money continues to grow despite policy intervention by Security and Exchange Commission.
Elucidating on this, he stated, “Mechanisms put in place to address the issue of rising value of unclaimed dividends such as adoption of electronic dividend payment method, dematerialisation of share certificates, acceptance of dividend warrants in both savings and current accounts, need for consolidation of accounts by the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) and Registrars, need to resuscitate publication of names of owners of unclaimed dividends by companies among others, have been applied with no significant positive outcome.
“The implications of large value of unclaimed dividends on the economic development of Nigeria to include, but not limited to, adverse investors’ confidence, decrease in availability of long-term capital for economic development and the likely volatility in the regulation of the capital market.”
The House consequently mandated the Committee on Capital Market and Institutions to investigate the rising value of unclaimed dividends and unremitted withholding tax on dividend and their attendant effects on the Nation’s economy and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.