Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 5 May 2017 | 1,477 times
The Director General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, has stated that the new Federal Government of Nigeria Savings Bond (FGNSB) is designed purposefully to favour the poor and give them a stake in government.
He spoke on Thursday while addressing leaders of market unions and leaders of middle income earner organisations in an advocacy/sensitisation workshop on the FGN Savings Bond in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Nwankwo said that over the years, the Federal Government has issued bonds since 2002, but they were elitist bonds, which were sold as wholesale bond to privileged individuals, corporate companies and organisation.
His words: “All these super rich individuals bought it as wholesale bond, but the difference we have in the FGNSB is that we are making these bond available to the ordinary Nigerians.
“There are a lot to benefits in investing in the FGNSB. First is that it is an opportunity for the common man to have a stake in the country. You can boost of having borrowed to the Federal Government.
“Again, your investment has interest accruing to you, straight into your bank account, and your interest is tax free. There are many benefits.
“By Monday next week, the savings bond will open, and it will remain open for five days. We will also disclose the interest rate, and everyone is at liberty to buy. You can invest from as little as N5,000 to as high as N50 million,” Nwankwo said.
According to Nwankwo, the Federal Government has decided to democratise the savings bond to include drivers, motorcycle operators, and artisans among others in the South East.
He said the savings bond is estimated to mature within two to three years with a quarterly income pay.
On the issue of the scheme failing due to a change in government, Nwankwo said: “This is a scheme everybody should embrace and be part of because the Federal Government can never default.
“We decided to expand the horizon of the activities of DMO in line with the present policy of the President Mohammed Buhari administration. This savings bond is designed to favour the poor because they have never been part of the programme hence that is the reason we are bringing the sensitisation to the grassroots level.
“When you get involved in the programme, you will not only become a patriotic citizen of Nigeria, you will also become a national stakeholder.”
He reeled out benefits of the savings scheme to include quarterly payment of interest income, acceptance as collateral for bank loans and saving for the future. “Let me also tell you that in the case of emergency, you can sell your bond before the maturity period to solve your problems. Of course we know that Onitsha people are very resourceful, and can provide the money needed by the federal government,” the DMO DG said.
The workshop, held at the Lumen’s Hotels in Onitsha, attracted members of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), traders from the Head Bridge, Ochanja as well as Main Market. It featured teachings on the workings of bond, and how to purchase them. DMO’s Director of Portfolio Management, Oladele Afolabi, took participants through a lecture on the bonds, while reeling out the list of accredited stockbrokers.
Chairman of Niger Bridgehead market, Mr Emmanuel Anagu, who spoke on behalf of other market leaders at the event, stated that he is truly convinced that the DMO means well for the poor by taking the workshop to traders in Onitsha. He urged the team to come and educate the 27 mini unions they have at the market on the benefits, saying that will help them understand the scheme better.
Also, Nwabueze Egwuatu, Secretary of Onitsha Main Market Traders Association, said that the traders would need more orientation to key into the system.
“Before now,” he said, “we heard of sales of Federal Government bond, but it is usually for the very rich, but today the federal government has brought it down to us, but what we ask is that we must make this workshop a regular one to drum it into the minds of our people.”
While commending DMO for bringing such a programme to the grassroots level especially in the South-East, the NBA appealed to the (DMO) to extend the sensitisation programme to the members of the bar, describing it as a life time investment.
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