E-Dividend registration campaign begins

Dominic Terver, Lagos

SEC DG Mounir Gwarzo

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) will on Monday begin another round of sensitization campaigns on e-Dividend Registration, which is currently on-going in the country.

This next campaign is scheduled for Lagos from February 8-11 beginning with a three day road show to be rounded up with a Town Hall meeting on the last day.

Last month, the Commission embarked on a robust campaign to sensitize members of the investing public on the on-going e-dividend registration and other initiatives that have commenced as a result of the implementation of the ten year Capital Market Master Plan.

The aim is to end the difficulty encountered by retail investors in claiming their dividends.

SEC last July, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), launched the e-payment platform.

They advised investors and all shareholders in the capital market to approach their banks or registrars to obtain an e-Dividend Mandate form for immediate processing and upload to the e-Dividend Mandate Management System (e-DMMS).

Speaking during a similar programme held in Abuja last month, the Director General, SEC Mounir Gwarzo described the e-Dividend platform as a game changer in the market that would ensure that infractions are reduced to the barest minimum level.

The DG expressed satisfaction with the level of success recorded so far as a result of the on-going enlightenment campaign. He urged investors to take advantage of the services and visit their bank or registrars to be advised accordingly on the registration process.

In his words, ‘we have all agreed that this is the way to go. It is now left for the investors to go and register. All stakeholders are to be registered free in the first 90 days, after which a fine of N100 will be imposed’.

Adding that, ‘once the e-dividend is in place, the issue of stale warrant and the travelling of investors from one place to another for the purpose of depositing the warrant would be a thing of the past.

‘The issue of unclaimed dividend according to our records, which is in excess of N80bn, will reduce and eventually become a thing of the past. These unclaimed dividends came about from dividends of small stakeholders like you and me and we need to ensure that they are claimed’.

The DG was quick to point out that once the registration process is over, the next phase will be to look into claims by investors who have dividends that are less than 12 years old.

Adding that, once the registrars can certify that the claimers are the owners, payment will be made, and gradually SEC will address the problems of unclaimed dividends.

UO