Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association says the Federal Government has no prerogative to manage unclaimed dividends as they were properties of investors, individuals and corporate organisations.
The association said sections 39 of the draft Finance Bill, which sought to establish an Unclaimed Dividends Trust Fund as a sub-fund of the COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund, should be expunged.
NECA, in a statement by its Director-General, Dr Timothy Olawale, said the idea of converting such private properties to federation wealth negated the provisions of the rights to own property as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.
He said companies should be allowed to manage the unclaimed dividends for and on behalf of their shareholders; and in the best interest of both the companies and its shareholders.
Olawale argued that the proposed section 39 of the Finance Bill overrides Sections 429 and 432 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020, which authorised the company declaring the dividend to invest it outside its business after three months of publication of unclaimed dividends.
The NECA boss queried the procedure for the recovery of unclaimed dividends by the rightful owners from the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.