Over N30bn unclaimed dividends paid so far – SEC  

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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

Investors.

“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.

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