The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed a plan to transfer unclaimed dividend of 12 years and above into the Nigerian Capital Market Development Fund (NCMDF).
SEC made this known on its website yesterday, while also proposed that companies and registrars shall not later than 30 days after the end of every calendar year forward report of unclaimed dividends to the commission.
According to SEC proposed rules, pursuant to the provisions of Section 313(1)(n) of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, the Commission hereby proposes this rule: companies and registrars in custody of dividends which remain unclaimed by shareholders 12 years after the date of declaration or subsequently attain the 12 years threshold shall upon the coming into effect of this rule transfer such monies into the NCMDF.
“All companies and registrars shall not later than 30 days after the end of every calendar year forward to the Commission a report of unclaimed dividends in their custody, which shall specify compliance with Sub Rule (1) of this Rule.
“Companies shall disclose details of compliance with this rule in their annual reports,” it added.
The Commission said, “This is part of the measures to address the rising trend of unclaimed dividends in the nation’s capital market, which has hit the N80 billion mark, banks and registrars have been mandated by both the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) and the SEC to set up e-dividend champions in their respective institutions.”
Also, SEC has directed all registrars operating in the capital market to end the issuance of e-dividend warrant to investors by June 31, 2017.
According to the commission, this is aimed at stemming the mounting unclaimed dividend in the capital market.
The director-general of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo bemoaned the low level of patronage on e-dividend registration launched last year in the market.