Unclaimed dividends, dormant account balances safer with govt, says CAC

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has expressed support for Federal Government’s recent plan to borrow money from unclaimed dividends and dormant bank accounts’ balances to fund the 2021 budget deficit.

The commission’s support came on the heels of the Finance Act 2020 recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, which provides that government can borrow from unclaimed dividends and dormant accounts’ balances under the Unclaimed Funds Trust Fund.

The funds are made available as special debt government owed shareholders and dormant bank accounts holders, a move many have vehemently criticised.

Registrar of CAC, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, who addressed journalists in Abuja, said the funds would be safer for the owners if borrowed by Federal Government.

‘’It is better for government to borrow the money, especially for infrastructural development that will also benefit the people. So long as the funds are in the hands of the government, the owners are safe and free to come forward anytime to collect what belongs to them, but if the unclaimed dividends are reverted to the companies, there is every likelihood that the owners may lose out as some powerful individuals in the companies may defraud them,’’ Abubakar explained.

On the dormant accounts, the CAC boss said he was not in a position to comment because bank dormant account issues are totally unconnected with the commission.

He explained that the new Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) has made it more difficult for the commission to de-list company names from its register.

‘’Under the new law, you cannot de-list any erring company at will, until after 10 years, for failing to file its returns. It is even better now because our newly introduced portal platform has evolved a system that shows clearly if a company is active or inactive, so I believe that has addressed such concerns,’’ Abubakar said.

He noted that since the coming on board of the CAMA Act, the commission has not delisted any company.


The Guardian

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