By Henry Umoru
THE Senate has asked the Bank of Industry(BOI) to increase the quantum of dividend it pays to the Federal Government after it was disclosed that the company has paid N8.2 billion as dividends to Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and Federal Ministry of Finance between 2014 and 2019.
Giving the directive in Abuja during an investigative hearing on revenue remittances by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs and remittances of 1% Stamp Duty on all contracts, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola, APC, Lagos West stated that the 7% – 10% used by the Board of Directors of the bank to determine dividend on the net profit of the bank is too low and the bank should look at increasing the percentage to 20% or more.
Adeola said, “While I want to commend BOI for running an efficient bank that is adding value to our industrial production as well as earning revenue for the Federal Government, I want to say that more money can be paid to the government in view of the financial constraints the country is facing at this point.”
Senator Adeola requested the managing director of the Bank, Mr. Olukayode Pitan to bring the matter before the Board of Directors as a plea from the Senate in its quest to reduce recurrent budget deficits and borrowing by government.
He stressed that in addition to a 2021 budget deficit of about N6 trillion, the country is equally looking for revenue for a supplementary budget to take care of procurement of COVID-19 vaccine as well as urgent funding to tackle insecurity ravaging the nation.
Adeola however requested confirmation with treasury receipts that the dividend so far paid was credited to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF as it should for subsequent appropriation by the National Assembly stressing that he will want to believe that is the position until proven otherwise.
Earlier in his remarks, Pitan told the Committee that in the period under consideration BOI has paid dividend of N8.2 billion to CBN and Federal Ministry of Finance as shareholders in the bank as well as over N1 billion as 1% Stamp duty to the Federal Inland Revenue Service over the same period.
He promised to bring up the matter before the Board of Directors of the Bank with regard to increasing the percentage of its profit that goes out as dividend to their various shareholders.