By Nkiruka Nnorom
IN an effort to ensure that more investors keyed into the e-dividend initiative and also make the registration more seamless, the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has directed Registrars to provide periodic update on investors’ e-dividend registration status.
As at date, 2.5 million accounts have been mandated (registered for e-dividend) since the commencement of the initiative, while the level of unclaimed dividend has been reduced to N100 billion.
However, the exercise has been inundated by complaints with some investors saying that registrars are deliberately frustrating the adoption.
Speaking in response to the delays, Henry Rowlands, Acting Head, Corporate Services, SEC, said that as long as investors are finding it difficult to key into the programme, the scheme could not be said to be satisfactory.
He said that following its feed-back programme and investigation, the Commission has mandated registrars to provide periodic feed-back on the list of mandated accounts and challenges they are having.
He stated: “The SEC as part of its feed back programme has noticed that a lot of people have similar problem. We have investigated and out of inquisitiveness, the Director General directed that a meeting be held with registrars very recently where we discussed this matter. Part of the mechanism that SEC devised is that we requested the registrars to give us periodic feed-back on the list of mandated accounts and challenges they are having.
So, we are going to implement the feedback as measurement for impact assessment we are commencing.”
He enjoined investors to reach out to the Commission with any complaint they have concerning the e-dividend mandate, assuring that SEC would take it up with the affected registrar.
He assured that the Commission has dedicated department charged with the responsibility to investigate complaints received and attend to the issues raised accordingly.
In 2015, the SEC launched the E-dividend Mandate management System (E-DMMS) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System, NIBSS, and other stakeholders.
E-DMMS ensures payment of dividend directly into shareholders’ designated bank account.