Post Views: 193 As part of efforts to reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market, the Securities & Exchange Commiss...
As part of efforts to reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), has again enjoined investors to provide sufficient proof of ownership and consolidate their accounts into one.
Speaking at a one-day national seminar on reducing the incidence of unclaimed Dividends held in Ibadan, the Acting Director-General of the commission, Ms. Mary Uduk said there were enormous benefits to be derived from regularizing multiple share accounts and e-dividends registration for investors.
Represented by Stephen Falomo, Director, Lagos Zonal Office, Uduk also reminded participants that the capital market community opened a forbearance window that allows investors with multiple subscriptions/applications during past public offers to consolidate the subscriptions under a single account name.
“Investors who provide sufficient proof of ownership will be permitted to regularize their accounts into one. The forbearance window closes on December 31, 2019,” the SEC boss stressed.
She lamented that continued retention of dividends by companies is capable of distorting their true financial positions, thereby misleading investors and members of the public.
“The huge amount of unclaimed dividends could discourage foreign investment as well as discourage members of the public from staking their funds in the market.
“Non-receipt of dividends discourages investors in the stock market and encourages them to search for alternative investment outlets such as the real sector and money market. Consequently, public companies are denied the opportunity of a cheaper source of finance,” she added.
Uduk assured that e-Dividend (Electronic Dividend) is a secure online means of paying dividends directly to the shareholder’s account, instead of printing and mailing dividend warrants, as was the case before now.
“It entails a shareholder who has a bank account (Savings or Current Account) with any bank, to give his/her accurate account details, including Biometric Verification Number (BVN), to the Registrar of the company and his/her dividend would be paid directly into that account.
“Each investor is required to enroll for the e-dividend regime by completing an e-Dividend ‘Mandate Form’ and submitting same at the nearest branch of his/her Bank or Registrar’s office, for identity validation leveraging the BVN platform of the NIBSS. Successfully BVN validated mandates are approved and passed to Registrars for dividend payment,” she added
Eric Akinduro, Chairman of Ibadan Zone of Shareholders’ Association, spoke of the need for SEC to intensify efforts thereby attracting more investors to embrace the e-dividends registration.
“SEC must intensify activities to entice investors to embrace the e-dividends registration for the volume of unclaimed dividends to reduce within the shortest time frame.
“I want to appeal to the SEC that Multiple account regularisation which was extended to December 2019 should be an on-going process; for many accounts are under processing, particularly deceased shareholders.
“Standardisation of registrars operations should be introduced, across the board,” Akinduro added.
In his keynote address, Adewale Raji, Group Managing Director, Odu’A Investment Company Limited and chairman at the event, charged the association to take the lead in ensuring members were duly registered.
“In order for us to reap maximum benefits from the e-dividends mandate, I want to urge the association to take on board this unique opportunity.
“As a matter of responsibility, we need to encourage members to take advantage of this opportunity.
“At the Zonal or State level meeting, we need to put in place a proper process whereby we enlist people who respond and see them through the process of e-dividends registration and also address other issues relating to accessing dividends,” Raji said.