SEC to Set Up Committee On N80 Billion Unclaimed Dividends
The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC has disclosed that it will set up committee to address the over N80 billion unclaimed dividend in the Nigeria capital market , even as it has assured investors to underwrite expenses to be incurred by them in the course of keying into the e-dividend platform.
The Director General of the commission, Mr. Mournir Gwarzo said ” We are concerned with the unclaimed dividend and we are going to set up a committee to look into the issue and recommend how it can be addressed holistically.”
According to him ” SEC is extending the deadline for free e-Dividend registration in the country by 150 days starting from Thursday 14 April, 2016. The commission would bear the cost of registration on behalf of any investor who registered within the 150 days grace period adding however that at the expiration of the grace period, subsequent registration of an investor would attract a fee of N100.”
He noted that the e-dividend management system which was launched last year by the commission in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) to enable investors have direct access to their dividends has enjoyed high level of compliance from the investing public.
According to him, within three months the public enlightenment programme began, the commission has achieved over 4000 per cent growth in the number of investors that registered to have access to their dividends.
Gwarzo said the commission’s concern was to bring back retail investors to the nation’s capital market.
“Our prayer is that in the next 10 years we will raise the participation of the retail investors to 45 per cent from less than two per cent presently,” he said.
Gwarzo said that this is one of the reasons why the commission has embarked on various initiatives like e-Dividend, Direct Cash Settlement, National Investors Protection Fund (NIPF) among others to attract retail investors to the Market.