Unclaimed dividend update:
The move by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, to reduce the huge unclaimed dividend estimated at over N60 billion in the nation’s capital market at the shortest period may not be realised given the several complaints by shareholders over the attitude of registrars in the implementation of the electronic, e- dividend mandate.
Consequently, shareholders of quoted companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, across the country have blamed registrars for the shareholders’ lack of interest in keying into the e-dividend exercise which is still ongoing, after the end of SEC’s underwriting of the cost of the e-Dividend enrolment.
Shareholders said: “Even after some of us have registered with registrars on e-dividend, we still get a lot of physical dividend warrants. We call on the SEC to investigate the activities of registrars in the e-dividend registrations; we attribute the slow pace of the exercise to lack of capacity in terms of infrastructure and manpower availability.”
The advantage of the e-dividend is not only to enable investors collect dividends electronically but it allows all accrued dividends to be credited to investors’ bank accounts.
SEC’s effort to reduce unclaimed dividend
The SEC has said that it is determined to reduce the level of unclaimed dividend in the country and that is why it encourages shareholders to enlist in the e-dividend registration.
The Commission as part of its effort to reduce unclaimed dividend, including claiming unclaimed dividend not exceeding 12 years, introduced free e-dividend in 2017 by bank rolling the cost till February 28, 2018, to encourage more shareholders mandate their banks to pay dividend into their accounts.
The exercise still continued but at a cost to the shareholders. Accordingly, shareholders that are yet to register should continue to approach their banks or registrars to mandate their bank accounts for the collection of their dividends electronically.