Mr. Moses Igbrude, spokesperson for Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, ISAN, in this interview spoke against plans by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, to transfer unclaimed dividend to the proposed Capital Market Development Fund. Excerpts:

WHAT is your take on plans by the SEC to transfer unclaimed dividend to Capital Market Development Fund?

Unclaimed dividend is the property of retail shareholders and becomes the property of the company that paid it after 12 years period that the shareholders could not claim it as stipulated by law.

Igbrude Moses

The contract of shares offering and purchase is between the company and shareholders. Subsection 123 of Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA has spelt out what to do in case there is a breach of contract. So, transferring of unclaimed dividend to a trust fund is not acceptable to the shareholders and we will resist it as we have been doing.

Are you in support of SEC’s decision to eliminate hard copy of companies’ annual report?

The position of the law is that, companies should provide annual reports to their shareholders 21day before an Annual General Meeting, AGM. Our position is that companies should send electronic, e- reports as well as print some copies of hard copies for the AGM.   Eliminating hard copies completely means you are transferring the cost of printing it to the shareholders. That will be unjust and oppressive to shareholders and we will resist it strongly.

What is your take on the proposed Capital Market Development Fund?

Capital Market Development Fund is a good concept if it is properly managed and funded as stipulated by the SEC. It will bring confidence to the market.

Unclaimed dividend is not static. Any dividend that remains unclaimed after 12years goes back to the company that declared it. SEC should work with banks to accept dividend into savings account. SEC should continue their good work in encouraging more shareholders to key into e-dividend project.



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