The Federal Government has disclosed its plan to borrow about N850 billion from unclaimed dividends and dormant bank accounts to fund the 2021 appropriation.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, made the disclosure on Tuesday during the virtual presentation on the 2021 budget.
Recall that ALEDEH had reported that dividends, amounts in a dormant bank account that remained unclaimed or unutilised for a period of six years will be borrowed by the Nigerian Government.
The minister stated that the government would hold the unclaimed dividends of investors in the stock market in trust and would make the fund available when needed by an investor.
“On the issue of unclaimed dividends and government’s accounts and projections, there would be as much as N850bn to be realised into the special trust fund of unclaimed dividends,” she said.
Ahmed added, “Government is keeping the money in trust for the beneficiaries. At any time, a registrar or a bank confirms that this is the true and bona-fide beneficiary of this fund, then government will release from that trust fund to the investor who has it.”
On another possible lockdown, the minister said it was the hope of government not to lock down the economy like it did before because the impact was very hard on Nigeria.
“But then, if the health challenge becomes so large and the government has no option, then that step might be taken,” she said.
Ahmed added, “But right now what we are doing is to re-enforce the measures that need to be taken by government, companies and individuals to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 and reduce the spread.
“Thankfully, the vaccines are now out and are available and Nigeria is in the process of deciding and beginning to acquire its own vaccine.”
She urged Nigerians to abide by stipulated COVID-19 protocols to avoid another nationwide lockdown in 2021.