Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, says the federal government will have access to as much as N850 billion from the special trust fund of unclaimed dividends and dormant account balances.

Speaking on Tuesday at a virtual public presentation of the 2021 budget, Ahmed assured that the funds will be released to the owners when they are identified.


“On the issue of unclaimed dividends and government’s accounts and projections, there would be as much as N850 billion to be realised into the special trust fund of unclaimed dividends.


“The 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 bonafide beneficiary of this fund, then the government will release from that trust fund to the investor who has it


 “They have nothing to lose as they would be paid their entitlements from the special trust fund to be set up by the federal government once they are properly identified.”


The 2020 finance act signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 2020, states that: “Any unclaimed dividend of a public limited liability company quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and any unutilised amounts in a dormant bank account maintained in or by a deposit money bank which has remained unclaimed or unutilised for a period of not less than six years from the date of declaring the dividend or domiciling the funds in a bank account shall be transferred immediately to the trust fund”.


The act also exempts micro and small companies earning N25 million or less as annual turnover from paying the tertiary education tax.