Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has said that quoted companies will save one billion naira from the printing and electronic circulation of annual reports to shareholders.
An indication to this was given by the Director-General, Security and Exchange Commission, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, made the disclosure at the 2017 second post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) news conference held recently in Lagos, adding that the commission was perfecting arrangements through a pilot scheme that would ensure electronic circulation of annual reports to shareholders to save cost.
Gwarzo said that quoted companies would save between N500 million and one 1bn from printing and dispatch of hard copies of annual reports to the shareholders.
The DG SEC said that CMC had reviewed the issue in line with economic realities and decided to float a pilot scheme for electronic distribution of annual reports to save cost, and also ensure enhanced dividend payment in the market.
He lamented that 98 per cent of shareholders don’t get dispatched copies of annual reports before the annual general meetings, stressing that companies’ secretaries had been mandated to dispatch hard copies of annual reports during the pilot scheme to shareholders associations’ offices.
“We have been doing something for the past 50 years, which is not helping the companies or even investors,” he added.
According to him, the market would review the pilot scheme in first quarter of 2018 and address identified loopholes before deciding on total stoppage of printing of annual reports.
He noted that total e-dividend registrants in the market as of July stood at 2.1 million out of total unique investors by account which stood at 838,671, while total unique investors by Bank Verification Number (BVN) was 433,164.