The Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, on Wednesday said that a total of 2.2 million investors have registered for the e-dividend payment platform.
Mr. Gwarzo said this at the 2017 first post Capital Market Committee (CMC) news conference in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that e-dividend is an electronic means of posting shareholders dividend directly into his or her bank account.
NAN also reports that SEC had in 2016 formally inaugurated the e-Dividend Mandate Management System, e-DMMS, in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and all Deposit Money Banks.
The aim was to address unclaimed dividends in the capital market.
Mr. Gwarzo said that 2.2 million investors had mandated their accounts for the e-dividend payment policy as of April 30, 2017.
He stated that the commission would direct all listed companies to participate in the on-going enlightenment campaign on e-dividend by informing their shareholders at Annual General Meetings on the processes put in place to increase the figure.
The director-general said that the June 30, 2017 deadline for non-issuance of dividend warrants would not be extended and urged investors to embrace the e-dividend payment platform.
He said that the commission would continue to underwrite the cost of e-dividend registration for investors till June 30.
Mr. Gwarzo explained that the e-dividend form could be obtained and properly filled at bank branches or in the office of a registrar and stock broking firms, or could be downloaded and filled by individuals.
He added that the major aim of the e-dividend payment system was to curb unclaimed dividends in the market, noting that the unclaimed dividend figure was reducing due to the e-dividend.
Mr. Gwarzo said that the commission would inaugurate the Nigerian Capital Market Development Fund (NCDMF) in the next CMC.
He stated that the fund initiated by SEC with a seed fund of N5 billion would not be managed by the commission but other operators.
Mr. Gwarzo said that the board of the NCDMF would also be inaugurated at the next CMC.
According to him, the fund will be used for the benefit and development of the market.
He stated that investors who joggled their names for the purpose of multiple subscription would be given a forbearance period of six months to regularise their accounts and lay claims to both their shares and accruing dividends.
Mr. Gwarzo said that affected investors would claim their shares and accrued dividends subject to establishment of their identity and a verification process by the SEC.
He said that such shares and accruing dividends would be transferred to the NCDMF if affected investors failed to regularise such accounts.
He stated further shares and accruing dividends of non-existent shareholders would be forfeited and transferred to NCDMF
“Going forward, any person who engages in such act shall be prosecuted,” Mr. Gwarzo said.
On dematerialisation of share certificate, he said that the market had achieved 100 per cent dematerialisation.
Mr. Gwarzo said that the shares of Med-View Airline and Jaiz Bank that were listed recently on the exchange had been fully dematerialised at the point of listing.