Registrar of companies in the Nigerian capital market have paid over N29 billion to investors that have not been able to claim their dividend. The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mr Mounir Gwarzo disclosed this to financial journalist at the post Capital Market Committee (CMC) briefing in Lagos on Friday.
Gwarzo explained that the payment was made between November last year till date, pointing out that the commission was able to achieve this milestone through the advocacy work of all the stakeholders in the market, that was taken to all the nooks and crannies of the country.
The DG added that incentives and time extension that was put in place to encourage investors in embracing the e-dividend scheme will continue until the market achieved 100 percent e-dividend transition. He emphasized that by end of June 30, 2017, registrars of companies will stop issuing physical dividend warrants to shareholders.
However, on the circular concerning the establishment of Nigerian Capital Market Development Fund (NCMDF) which will take care of all unclaimed dividends that is above 12 years. Gwarzo noted that a committee has been set up to work out its modalities for the trust fund, adding that without pre-empting the committee which are reviewing the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) and the Companies and Allied Matters Acts (CAMA), they will decide if it appropriate to allow investors to forfeit their dividend once its above 12 years or leave it to perpetuity.
The apex regulator in the capital market last year july formally launched the e-Dividend Mandate Management System (e-DMMS) in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and all Deposit Money Bank to address the issue of unclaimed dividend in the capital market.
According to Samuel Oluyemi Head, Vertical Markets Group from the Nigerian Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the e-DMMS portal utilizes NIBSS robust document management system to which the e-dividend mandate forms filled by the investor can be uploaded, it explained, adding 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.