The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), on Friday in Lagos said considerable progress has been made in the implementation of its electronic Dividend Mandate Management System (e-DMMS), and consolidation of multiple shareholder accounts.
Both measures were introduced as part of checking the growth and possibly eliminating the unclaimed dividend menace that was becoming a sore thumb in the nation’s capital market.
While promising to an announce the value of unclaimed dividend in the country in the coming week after taking into account reports from various capital market operators, Ms. Mary Uduk, acting director-general of the SEC told reporters that a total of 2.7m share accounts have so far been captured under the e-DMMS.
Uduk, who was addressing a post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) press briefing, expressed satisfaction with the regularization of multiple shareholders accounts since it was launched last year, describing investor response as very impressive.
According to her, with the help of the Multiple Subscription Committee, 3.4bn shares have so far been effectively consolidated.
The committee “informed the meeting that the Committee of Heads of Banking Operations had agreed to collaborate with the commission to display banners in (their) banking halls all over the country, sensitizing the public on the regularization of multiple subscriptions of shares.”
Company Secretaries of listed companies, she continued, “have also agreed to display similar information on their website and offices.”
The meeting rose with a resolve that the SEC should engage relevant stakeholders on the e-Dividend and Multiple Subscription Accounts so as to ensure “that complete investor data are transferred among operators such as Brokers, registrars and the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS).
SEC is also to help discourage unclaimed dividends from building up from securities of newly-listed companies, just as modalities should be developed to for validating shareholders’ registers, such that “registrars are furnished with incomplete information such as missing account numbers.”
Speaking further, Henry Rowlands, Acting Executive Commissioner Corporate Services, of the SEC noted that the issue of unclaimed dividend is dynamic, given that as the old heap is being cleared by the registrars, new ones are mounting by the day.
Furthermore, the acting DG said the CMC’s Identity Management Committee gave updates of its meeting with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on the implications of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation on capital market operations. There are plans, the committee announced, “to develop a standardized data form, which seeks to consolidate registration and access to processes in the capital market by investors.”
After discussions on the issue, the CMC resolved that the SEC invites NITDA to make a presentation on the impact of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation on the capital market at the 2019Q3 CMC meeting.
The commission was also mandated to urge the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to include e-DMMS charges in its Guideline for Bank Charges.
This, she explained, is because “the CBN has published charges for the banks, this means that any transactions carried out by any bank, there is an established charge.
“The e-dividend charge is not part of the charges from the CBN and so because of that investors are having issues with banks where for instance they are charged for some transactions that are not listed as bank charges which they do not know.
“They complained to us and so we decided that we will engage CBN to actually make this part of their charges and so any e-dividend carried out will be charged by the CBN.
“This came up as a result of us stopping the payment of the e-dividend mandate as we were underwriting the initiative before we mandated investors to pay a token of N150 per mandate.
“We believe the capital market of our dreams can only be achieved through the collaboration of all stakeholders,” Uduk said.
Similarly, stockbrokers and registrars are requested “to make available to the Committee on Multiple Subscription Account, on a periodic basis, the number of regularized accounts.”
Photo caption: Left to right: Acting Executive Commissioner Legal and Enforcement, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Mr. Reginald Karawusa, Acting Executive Commissioner Corporate Services, SEC, Mr. Henry Rowlands, Acting Director-General, SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk and Acting Executive Commissioner Operations, SEC, Mr. Isyaku Tilde at the Second Quarter Post Capital Market Committee Meeting Press Briefing in Lagos, Weekend.