The acting Director-General, SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, while speaking at an enlightenment programme on e-dividend and contemporary issues in the Nigerian Capital Market in Enugu on Thursday, urged more Nigerians to take advantage of the on-going registration.
She said the registration would reduce the unclaimed dividends profile as well as increase liquidity in the capital market and the economy.
Uduk, who was represented by the Head, Port Harcourt Zonal office, SEC, Mr Obi Adindu, disclosed that the commission was leading the entire capital market industry in an effort to migrate all shareholders to an e–dividend regime.
She said, “The essence of the e-dividend Mandate Management System is to eradicate or reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of unclaimed dividends.
“Unclaimed dividend is an undesirable feature of the Nigerian capital market, which denies investors/shareholders the gains of participating in the capital market.
“It denies the economy access to the huge amount of money that should have accrued to shareholders and will have gone into circulation to oil the wheel of the economy.
“It is a consequence of the bottlenecks that are inherent in the erstwhile paper dividend warrant regime such as postal system inefficiency, change in investors’ addresses, poor fidelity and human fallibility in dividend payment processes, among others.”
She noted that the e–dividend regime bypassed the limitations by ensuring that dividends that did not exceed 12 years of issue were credited directly to an investor’s account after the declaration.
She added that the e-dividend registration exercise started on November 23, 2016, with each successful registration costing N150.
Uduk said between November 2016 and March 2018, the commission underwrote the registration cost for all investors.
She said, “It is my pleasure to let us know that a total of 2.4 million accounts have been mandated.
“May I, therefore, implore you all to key into the e-dividend registration exercise by visiting the nearest bank branch or registrar. In addition to migrating to the e-dividend regime yourselves, kindly tell everybody you know to do same in their best interest.”
Uduk also disclosed that the SEC was implementing various initiatives aimed deepening the capital market, making it more vibrant and effective.
According to her, the commission has developed a two-pronged approach to addressing the intractable challenges associated with transmission of shares related to the estate of deceased investors.
She said the first step would involve the engagement of probate registrars with a view to providing solutions to the cumbersome process of transmitting shares.