By Peter Egwuatu
THE Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, yesterday, stated that more than N30billion has so far been paid to investors in the Nigerian capital market from the backlog of unclaimed dividends worth over N80 billion.

As a means to further reduce the outstanding amounts in unclaimed dividends and curb its growth, the Commission has notified the investing public that it will continue to underwrite the cost of e-dividend enrollment till June 30, 2017.

In a statement, yesterday, SEC said: “With a view to ensuring all investors benefit from the e-dividend programme free of charge, the SEC had committed to pay the cost of enrolment throughout the year 2016, and had resulted in getting about 48 per cent of investors to enroll for the e-dividend payments. Arising from this exercise, over N30 billion which was hitherto unclaimed have so far been credited to respective bank accounts of investors.”

The SEC’s Director General, Mounir Gwarzo, said that efforts to ensure that the era of stale dividends and huge unclaimed dividends in the stock market become a thing of the past was already achieving result with the e-dividend registration system.

He said, “when we started the e-dividend, the major challenge was for people to key into the e dividend mandate. There are dividends that have not been claimed, the registrars have been compelled to pay all the arrears of unclaimed dividends.

Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission boss, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo

Therefore, the advantage of the e-dividend is not only to enable investors collect subsequent dividends electronically but it allows all accrued dividends be credited to investors’ Bank Accounts.

“The Commission has, however, observed with concern the challenges being experienced by investors in the course of the e-dividend registration and therefore commits to further defray the cost of registration till June 30, 2017 to enable investors continue to enjoy the free registration.”



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