The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated that over the sum of N30billion has so far been paid to investors in the Nigerian capital market from the backlog of unclaimed dividends.
As a means to further reduce the unclaimed dividends profile and curb its growth in the country, the Commission has notified the investing public that it will continue to underwrite the cost of E-Dividend enrolment till 30th June, 2017.
SEC in a statement explained that “With a view to ensuring all
investors benefit from the E-Dividend programme free of charge, the
SEC had committed to pay the cost of enrolment throughout the year
2016, and had resulted in getting about 48 per cent of investors to
enroll for the e-dividend payments.
“Arising from this exercise, over N30 billion which was hitherto
unclaimed have so far been credited to respective Bank Accounts of
“Therefore, the advantage of the e-dividend is not only to enable
investors collect subsequent dividends electronically but it allows
all accrued dividends be credited to investors’ Bank Accounts.
“The Commission has however observed with concern the challenges
being experienced by investors in the course of the e-Dividend
registration and therefore commits to further defray the cost of
registration till June 30th, 2017 to enable investors continue to
enjoy the free registration” the SEC stated.
The SEC also reminded the investing public that at the expiration of
the free registration period, Dividend warrants will no longer be
issued as it would be replaced with electronic dividend payments.
This decision underscores the Commission’s strong focus on market
development and enhancement of investor confidence. All investors in
the Nigerian Capital Market are therefore advised to take advantage of
this extended grace period by approaching their Bankers or Registrars
for enrolment before the deadline.
E-dividend payment platform was introduced to address the rising
incidence of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market.
It is also expected to address the lingering problem of unclaimed
dividends, which the market had sought solution for the past 20 years.
SEC DG, Mounir Gwarzo had recently said that efforts made by the
commission to ensure that the era of stale dividends and huge
unclaimed dividends in the market become a thing of the past was
already achieving result with the e-dividend registration system.
“When we started the e dividend, the major challenge was for people
to key into the e dividend mandate. There are unclaimed dividends that
have not been claimed, the registrars have been compelled to pay all
the arrears of unclaimed dividends.
“In this country, we have never had this kind of initiative that has
reduced unclaimed dividends like we had today. Apart from the investor
getting his dividends where ever he is, that investor will be able to
get dividends that in the last five years he has not been able to get.
The e-dividend is for the interest of retail investors” he added.