Senate seeks more actions to reduce unclaimed funds

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

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The Nigerian Senate has urged stakeholders in the capital market, especially operators, regulators and the government, to ensure they restore confidence in the system, describing it as the surest way to attract more investment and boost the economy.

Chairman of the Senate committee on the capital market, Senator Mustapha Bukar gave the advice on Tuesday while addressing participants at a one day public hearing on the enactment of two Bills.

These Bills are the investments and securities Acts 2007, (Amendment) Bill, 2017, and the unclaimed funds Bill, 2017.

‘Right action’
According to available records from the Senate committee on the capital market, “the unclaimed dividends figure as at the year 2017 was put at =N=104 billion,” and the Senate believes it can be reduced drastically when the right actions are taken.

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, while declaring the public hearing open, encouraged the participants to offer their experience and knowledge in making the proposed laws more efficient and in tandem with the present economic realities of the country.

He was represented by the Senate minority whip, Senator Philip Aduda.

The Investments and Securities Act (ISA) Bill 2007 seeks to amend the Act in order to strengthen the regulatory and institutional framework that guide the operation of the investments and securities market in Nigeria.

It created and empowers the SEC, as the apex regulatory body in the Nigerian capital market to promote healthy competition, efficiency, transparency and development of the capital market.

The unclaimed funds Bill 2017 is seeking to provide a legal framework on how the government can dispose the funds that are left unclaimed in the custody of various financial institutions in the country to their rightful owner.

It also seeks to create a legal framework that will ensure that the funds are kept active in the economy.

Stakeholders that participated at the event include the office of the Attorney General of the Federation/Minister of Justice, the Finance Minister, representatives of the Nigeria Economic summit Group, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria Stock Exchange, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and other licensed operators in the capital market.

Sammie Idika