Experts counsel DMO on bond for small savers’

SEVERAL international development experts have called on the Federal Government to make creating awareness for its new strategic initiative aimed at deepening and broadening the securities market, the savings bond for small savers.

It will be recalled that the Federal Government, through the Debt Management Office (DMO), announced earlier this month that it had concluded plans float a savings bond for small savers as part of a strategic initiative with the objective of deepening and broadening the securities market.

“This bond like other bonds before it is an instrument to complement government’s effort to raise funds from the market to finance deficits in the budget.  It is, therefore, part of the instrument to borrow what is needed for the economy.

“Unlike those other ones that are domestically auctioned monthly and the just concluded FGN $1 billion Eurobond which are restricted to institutional investors and high net worth individuals, this savings bond is one of the ways the DMO plans to develop and introduce new debt instruments into the fixed income securities’ market to satisfy low income individuals and groups. The savings bond investment starts from a minimum of N5, 000 to a maximum of N50 million, with a two to three year tenor,” those familiar with the development told the Nigerian Tribune at the weekend.

While commending the Federal Government on the initiative, an international development communication specialist, Dr Supo Olayemi, called on the Federal Government to ensure that the target public are made aware and carried along in the implementation processes.

“We encourage and appreciate this all-inclusive policy thrust of the federal government on bonds’ issuance, we consider it imperative to let the authorities know that planning for the low income earners is one thing, letting them know that you are planning for them is another.

“It is from this perspective that we urge the government and, DMO in particular, as the agency driving the entire process, to bring down the policy to the level that the target segment of the market will understand it.

“We stress this point just to avoid an unwholesome situation that may likely arise in which the same big players who are grandmasters in the game and understand its intricacies will hijack it not because the low income earners are not interested but because they are not sufficiently educated on the modalities for participation,” he said.

Another development communication expert, Dr Bayo Arowolo, in a written statement made available to the Nigerian Tribune on Sunday, said “it is in our opinion, is for the DMO to focus its sensitisation campaign on cooperative groups, for example and there are many of them. There are the market men and women groups, trade and professional groups as well as artisans. DMO must find a way to engage and reach out to these segments of the society.

“The approach must be designed to enlighten them on what they stand to gain by buying in into the savings bond issuance policy.”