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E-dividend: N29bn unclaimed dividend paid out

The efforts of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to ensure the collection of unclaimed dividend via the e-dividend portal has yielded results as over N29 billion has been paid to investors since inception.

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 at the weekend.

Gwarzo explained that the N29 billion paid out of N90 billion unclaimed dividend which was made from November last year till date was achieved through the advocacy work of all the stakeholders in the market across the country.

Gwarzo, while noting that by end of June 30, 2017, registrars of companies will be stop from issuing physical dividend warrants to shareholders, noted that the incentives and time extension that was put in place to encourage investors in embracing the e-dividend scheme would continue until the market achieved 100 per cent e-dividend transition.

Speaking on 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 the committee would decide if investors would forfeit their dividend once its above 12 years or leave it to perpetuity.

According to Samuel Oluyemi, Head, Vertical Markets Group from the Nigerian Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), e-dividend registration had been made easy via NIBSS’s robust document management system to which the e-dividend mandate forms filled by the investor can be uploaded.

He 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, free of charge while noting that investors do not need to go through signature authentication or verification in as much as the data were correctly filled.

It will be recalled that the capital market regulator, 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.