The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) in partnership with the Interior and Coordination of National Government Ministry have officially launched the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) which is geared at looking for the claimants of the unclaimed financial assets.
The move is also aimed at enhancing nationwide reunification of unclaimed financial assets with the owners or their next of kin.
Most Kenyans have not known the existence and the mandate of UFAA, necessitating the organization to partner with the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government in an initiative which will run for the next 50 days and will involve a systematic engagement with National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) reaching out to members of the public across the county and rallying them to take up unclaimed financial assets in custody of the Authority.
The Cabinet Secretary (CS) Interior and Coordination of National Government (CS), Dr. Fred Matiang’i speaking on Tuesday while launching the RRI said, “I am informed that the amount of assets remaining unclaimed and in the custody of UFAA is in excess of Sh13 billion in cash and 567 million units shares.”
He added that it is more worrying putting in mind that there are many families that continue to struggle to educate their children and cater for other urgent financial needs while being unaware that assets due to them are lying somewhere unclaimed and yet they were meant to support them to fulfill these critical needs for their families.
“The Government is keen to ensure that the financial well-being of its citizens are protected at all times,” said Matiang’i.
The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority Chairman, Richard Kiplagat said that reunification of unclaimed assets has been identified as a big challenge in the delivery of their mandate. He added that the situation had been compounded by low awareness levels by members of the public on existence and mandate of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority.
He also explained that the collaboration will catalyze the delivery and reunification of the unclaimed financial assets as envisaged by the crafter of the enabling legislation.
He stated that effective management of unclaimed financial assets presents the country with valuable source of development resources, secondly, funds that are claimed can be used to support efforts of strengthening social welfare programmes in Kenya and lastly, “we are keen that Kenyans lodge claims and get reunited with their ‘lost’ assets.”
The Chief Executive Officer Unclaimed Financial Authority, John Mwangi reiterated that the government is the best placed to reach to those who are claiming their assets.
“The money reaches us through the holding institutions and we look for owners and give them back their money. Since inception in 2015, now we have a full board; Mobile banking has a total sum of Sh.1billion and the financial assets and audits are underway,” said Mwangi.
He explained that for the last five years they have received Sh.23 billion and over Sh.500 million units share, the sectors that have given the unclaimed financial assets are; the banking sector, then listed companies which give dividends and the insurance companies.
He said that the holding companies have been given until November 2nd this year to comply with UFAA and submit the unclaimed assets.
By David Musungu