As a leap towards strengthening the recently launched Federal Government’s Economy Recovery and Regeneration policy, the Debt Management Office (DMO) is taking President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign for new investment opportunity for all Nigerians to all Nigerians right down to their places of domicile. It is codenamed “Federal Government of Nigeria Savings Bond (FGNSB)”.
The DMO management, at the one day advocacy and sensitization workshop on FGN Savings Bond in Ibadan, Oyo State, attended by representatives of three major tribes in Nigeria; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba alongside leaders of unions, associations in the South West region, spelt out features of the new Bonds which had varying benefits like interest on income to be paid quarterly; FGNSB acceptable as collateral for bank loans; and for good savings towards retirement, marriage, school fees, house projects among others.
With features relating to issuing of bonds on monthly basis in tenors of two and three years, and minimum subscription amount of N5, 000 with additions in multiples of N1, 000 to a maximum of N50million, the DMO said all interested Nigerians can subscribe through stockbroking firms trading with the Nigeria Stock Exchange and accredited distribution agents licensed by the DMO.
The Director General of DMO, Dr Abraham Nwankwo said that the bond would greatly empower every Nigerian economically and added that the FGNSB is a bond issued by the Federal Government primarily for retail investors with a view to providing opportunity for investors to contribute to national development as it improves the savings culture in Nigeria.
Nwankwo, who noted that DMO has a board that is always chaired by the vice president of the country, explained that Nigerians can invest a minimum of N5, 000 and maximum of N50million in FGNSB, adding that any amount higher than N50million should be invested in the old bond, known as Federal Government of Nigeria Bond (FGNB).
His words: “We are here in Ibadan to enlighten the general public about the Federal Government of Nigeria Savings Bond. The government of Muhammadu Buhari has an economic philosophy of making sure that the economic process is inclusive. As Nigeria recovers (from economic recession) and grows, nobody should be left behind, which means every Nigerian, no matter their income level will have an opportunity to participate in the process of re-activating the economy, and also benefit from the progress that is being made.
“It is in that regard that the Debt Management Office has been mandated by the Vice President and the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, to ensure that DMO also works along this mandate. The Federal Government of Nigeria has been issuing bonds since 2002 and the purpose is to ensure that government raises additional money to augment internally generated revenue to be able to fund various capital projects in the budget. The budget is always approved by the National Assembly, which means the National Assembly on behalf of the people of Nigeria takes a decision and approves that money should be borrowed.
“So, we have been using the Federal Government of Nigeria Bond in particular to do the borrowing from domestic sources. We also borrow from external sources. However, based on new philosophy of government, that whatever we are doing should be inclusive, so that when we achieve growth, it will be growth with development because everybody is involved, we have decided to design a new instrument – FGN Savings Bond, which can be accessible to the low income group, such as teachers, artisans, drivers, tomato sellers, market women, plumbers, trade unions and to all types of associations.
“This is why the amount for the investment is as low as N5, 000. If you have N5, 000, N10, 000, N1million, you can go ahead and invest in the FGN Savings Bond. In that way, you are contributing to funding the growth and development of the economy.
“On a personal level, you will benefit because you will be earning assured and competitive interest rate every quarter. The FGN Savings Bond is offered every month. The DMO has been given the mandate. The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has given us all the support to make sure that we are able to reach Nigerians everywhere. We have been to Kano and Onitsha. We are also in Ibadan. We will continue with other cities. We will go to the local governments and villages.
“In the next couple of weeks, the publicity and enlightenment will be broadcast on the local radio stations in Nigeria languages, so that all the grassroots are part and parcel of this new movement of encouraging people to save and earn income for the future for various purposes, such as building a house, paying school fees in the future, and carry out other projects.
“More importantly, the government is insisting that every economic activity that is produced and supported by government should be available and accessible to all Nigerians, irrespective of income level.”
The Savings Bond policy is one that every Nigerian should embrace because its benefits are many. The money depositors keep in banks at ridiculously low interest rates will surely yield more revenue for them at a level that they did not anticipate, if they take advantage of the savings bond.
– Omokwe wrote from Abuja