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SEC cautions Registrars over late dividends’ payment

Reduces over N103bn unclaimed dividend

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has urged registrars in the capital market to ensure that complaints by investors of dividend payment’s denial or delay is checked forthwith by removing all bottlenecks to timely dividend payment.
Making the assertion on Tuesday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s- organized investor clinic at the NSE’s Customs Street Marina, Lagos, SEC urged registrars to arguments in support of dividend delay or denial and ensure that all investors are paid their accrued dividend and on time too.
Director, Market Development, SEC, Mr. Henry Adekunle Rowland, at the clinic themed: “ the role of Dematerialization, Direct cash settlement and E-dividend in the development of the Nigerian capital market,” emphasized that the main objective of investing is reaping from investment and one’s dividend payment is denied by registrars, the aim of investing is defeated.
While calling on registrars to remove impediments to verification, dematerialization, irregular signature, forms not properly filled, indemnity, among others, to come out with more investor- friendly measures that would not make dividend claim, a frustrating issues for genuine shareholders.
“All the backlog of issues will be sorted out, we are working on towards improving on where we are not getting it right” he had said.
The SEC Director Market Development said that through dematerialization, direct cash settlement (DCS) and E-Dividend, the commission is focused at ensuring that Nigerians capital market is made seamless both for the regulators, operators and the investors as all the innovations are geared towards enhancing protection of investors, boosting investors’ confidence, attaining globalized market standard and reducing the volume of unclaimed dividend.
He however urged shareholders to take advantage of SEC portal and verify information on their investments, download e-dividend forms, fill and deliver to their banks or stockbrokers.
He said that challenges confronting dematerialization, e-dividend registration and e-payment should need to be addressed by market operators and regulators as the commission continue to exploit easy ways ameliorating emerging challenges.
Adekunle assured that challenges of dollar denominated dividend by Eco bank will be sorted as SEC sustains dialogue with the bank.
Some of the issues raised by investors’ hinges on dematerialization form refusal by registrars, indemnity forms, irregular signature, e-dividend amongst others and the SEC augured of sustained dialogue with registrars to find lasting solution.
The MD, African prudential Registrars, Mr. Peter Ashade in his remark said that some investors remain hesitant to key into e-dividend payment and have always retorted to last minute rush to enlist “between May and June, when the free registration was originally billed to end no registrar got below 20,000 forms.”
He said that risks are associated release of dividends and registrars work towards ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements before payments are made otherwise they will risk regulatory sanction.

CEO, United Securities Limited, Mr. Seyi Owoturo, on ‘full dematerialization, benefits to market participants” said that 50 to 55 per cent of investors have mandated their accounts to preferred brokers and that brokers have the opportunity to search for those they help purchase public offers of shares for and help migrate their accounts for full dematerialisation.’

 

Operations Manager, Market Development, NSE, Mr. Kenneth Nwafor, in his presentation on, “‘Direct cash settlement in the Nigerian capital market, “said that DCS enables investors have direct access to their transaction funds, when their shares are sold by their designated brokers.
He said that the investor is expected to forward his request to the broker for onward transmission to the CSCS, and failure to upload the form within three, the broker faces N250, 000 sanction.
According to him, the DCS helps to reduce market infringement, increase speed and transparency and boost market confidence.

 

 

 

 

Stories by Bonny Amadi

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