Lagos (INVESTADVOCATE)-Mounir Gwarzo, the director general (DG) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has advised investors in the Nigerian Capital Market (NCM) to register for e-dividend to ensure receipt unclaimed dividends which currently stands at N90 billion.
A statement from SEC quoted Gwarzo at an e-dividend sensitization exercise in Abuja as saying that once the Commission completes the on-going registration of investors, the next phase will be to ensure that the owners of the unclaimed dividends are paid their money.
He said. “e-dividend is very important because I believe it is going to be a major game changer, it is an issue we have had since the inception of this market whereby people buy shares and are unable to claim their dividend either because the warrant becomes stale, they change address or are living in an area that is quite far and it will take more than what the dividend warrant is worth and they will not want to go and collect it
“One of the things we will do once we are through with the registration is to see how those huge unclaimed dividends can be verified and paid to the owners. You know there is a limitation of the law that says after 12 years you cannot claim. But those that are below 12 years once people have registered and they are able to show proof that they are the owners of that dividend they should be able to claim that part of the unclaimed dividend,” he added.
According to the SEC DG, the reason it choose densely populated areas for the campaign is because the high level of unclaimed dividends belongs to the retail holders, the people that have small holdings.
“Somebody that has N1million or N500, 000 dividends will certainly find a way to claim it. So it is the N2, 000, N3, 000 dividends that people have not been claiming that has accumulated to this level. That is why strategically SEC focused on this enlightenment programme” Gwarzo affirmed.
On the downturn being experienced in the market, Gwarzo describes it as normal, saying that it happens everywhere in the world, and not peculiar to Nigeria.
“All over the world within the Emerging and developed markets, most of their markets closed on the negative last year. It is part of the trend in the market and you know that the economy all over the world is not in a good shape, oil and commodity prices has gone down significantly and all these are being reflected in the stock market” he added
The Nigerian bourse ended in bloodbath on Wednesday as the all-share index (ASI) dipped 3.6 percent to near a three-and-half-year low coming on the heels of dwindling fortunes of the naira hitting a new low of N300 per dollar on the black market after the Central Bank’s decision to restrict dollar supply and the plunging global oil prices.