The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said its E-dividend policy drive for an equitable market has continued to yield result, saying that about 2.2 million investors has mandated their accounts for an electronic payment on return on their investment.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos at the end of the first quarter Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting, Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, stated that as at today, all shares at the Nigerian Capital Market have been fully dematerialized in share certificates, adding that the development would reduce the number of unclaimed dividend.
Dematerialization is the process by which an investor can get physical certificates converted into electronic form maintained in an account with the depository participant.
The SEC DG equally maintained that the September 2017 direct card settlement would be mandatory for every investor at the Nigerian capital market, saying that soon, the commission would roll out plan for the financial literacy campaign.
“As a market, we have agreed that we do not see why transactions cannot be completed within the period of three days. Every key stakeholder in the market has to key into it, because if we all do that, we will be able to reduce the transactions. Part of the things that discourages people from coming to the capital market, is because it takes a longer time and that is why we are looking at that,” he said.
This is even as he maintained that June 30th this year remains the last date where listed companies will be made to issue dividend warrants to investors in the capital market. “By this date, investors are expected to have given their mandate to their registrars, for their dividend to be paid into their bank accounts free of charge.
“Through SEC’s, NIBSS, CSCS and other market financial stakeholders collaborative efforts, over 2.2million investors have mandated their accounts for E-dividend. It is important for investors to mandate their accounts. It will provide them the opportunity to claim long outstanding dividend,” he disclosed.
Gwarzo equally noted that investors who bought shares in the market with same surnames will be made to come forward to reconcile their holdings with proofs, while those who bought shares with multiple accounts and having outright different names will be made to forfeits such holdings, noting that proceeds from the shares will be plough back into the dedicated market development fund accounts.
“A committee has been set up to look at it. For those who use fictitious names in the buying of shares. It will go to market development fund. It will be used for the benefit of the capital market,” he added.
On market risk supervision, the SEC DG said the commission has moved the department saddled with the responsibility from its office in Abuja down to Lagos, for effective and regular visit to market operators to ascertaining their level of compliance to the commissions’ directives on developing the equities market.