SEC to tackle market apathy with e-dividend

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expressed its determination to resolve most of the issues leading to capital market apathy by Nigerian investors with recently introduced e-dividend payment.

Some of the issues according to SEC Director General, Munir Gwarzo include unclaimed dividend, which has accumulated to over N90 billion and the tendency of some stockbrokers not to faithfully remit share sales proceeds to retail investors.

Speaking when the Management of the Commission visited the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) on an advocacy visit on the 10 year Capital Market Master Plan, Gwarzo stressed that the dominance of the market by foreign investors is one of the reasons why the market is not as deep as it ought to be.

He said, “Our intention is to ensure that we raise the level of participation of retail investors in the Market that is the only way we can maintain the strength of the market.

“Dominance of the market by foreign investor is one of the reasons why our market is the way it is.

“Although it is the pattern of the market, but this dominance is a major factor because they are the ones that come in and come out.

“We need to upscale the participation of the retail investors in the market and that is why we are addressing some of their concerns.

“Anyone you meet today and tell him to come back, the issue of unclaimed dividends is always a major problem

“In order to achieve this, the DG disclosed that the Commission has embarked on various initiatives like recapitalisation, e-dividend registration, the Direct Cash Settlement as a direct benefit to investors from the e-dividend registration as when they register for e-dividend, anytime their shares are sold, they would get the proceeds directly in their bank accounts among others.

“We are urging Nigerians to go and register to get their dividends electronically. Once we get through with the e-dividend thing, we will be able to deal with other issues in the market. The entire market has commenced Direct Cash Settlement.

“The era when shares will be sold and the proceeds will be given to the broker who will them pay the client is over. “What is obtainable now is that once the shares of an individual are sold, the proceed is paid directly into his band account.

In his remarks, Director General of FRCN, Dr. Mansur Liman said the primary mandate of the organization is to inform, educate and entertain adding that it is a responsibility bestowed on the organisation to educate the Nigerian public on what the SEC is doing.