Nigeria has N80bn in unclaimed stock dividends- SEC

Solomon Chung, Abuja

Nigeria has over eighty billion naira of unclaimed dividends from the capital market investment in the country. This was revealed by the Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission in the country Mr. Muonir Gwarzo.

He also said that the capital market in Nigeria has only 2 % retail investors in the country’s capital market.

Gwarzo disclosed this in Abuja on Friday when he paid a courtesy call on the country’s Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed in his office in Abuja.

While submitting a copy of the Nigerian capital market development plan which is for ten years, Gwarzo said the N 80 billion unclaimed dividends arise from the challenges that existed in the market.

Most small and other retail investors found it difficult to claim dividends until the introduction of the e-dividends which has now made it easier.

“The master which we have already started implementing gave birth to the concept of the e-dividends.It is an idea that India, Malaysia, even Kenya utilized to grow their capital market.”

He also urged the Federal Government to make sure more companies get quoted in the stock market because research has shown that 60% of taxes and revenues that are non oil in Nigeria come from companies in the stock market.

He also said that it is important for the three arms of government buy into the capital market development master plan and also there was need for massive enlightenment and publicity.

Responding, the Minister says it was unacceptable to have just 2 percent of retail investors in the country’s capital market.

“With just 2 % of retail investors, Nigeria runs the risks of allowing investors whose interest might not be of the general good of the economy to occupy the market.”

He then assured the SEC team of government support for the master plan as it is a sure way to make things right in the capital market.

The capital market master plan is a ten year strategic document to guide the regulation and operation of the country’s capital market.