The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed part of its near-future plans is the phasing out of printed annual reports for distribution to shareholders, by publicly listed companies.
The Director General of SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo who disclosed this during the post CMC meeting held in Lagos on Wednesday explained that the purpose of printing the reports, which is for distribution to shareholders, before the companies annual general meetings, is often defeated, as many of the shareholders do not get the reports beforehand.
Gwarzo said that as part of the resolutions concluded in a meeting held with secretaries of all quoted companies and heads of shareholder associations, the annual reports will be sent electronically to all shareholders.
His words: “We know in this country, most of the time, investors get their annual reports after the Annual General Meetings, so we agreed that as a pilot for the first one year, annual reports are going to be sent electronically to all investors, and the company secretaries have assured us that they are going to try their best to get all the email addresses of all investors”
Gwarzo also stated that, some hard copies of the annual report will be deposited at the head offices of the shareholder’s association, implying that SEC will regularize the registration of all shareholder associations so that any investor who needs access to the hard copies can get them easily.
Gwarzo explained that the full implementation of this initiative will reduce the cost on the part of the company to plough back into the business for other profitable ventures and the declaration of robust dividend for their shareholders, while the investors will benefit by having ready access to the annual report for thorough digestion.
The SEC DG, also disclosed that it is developing a curriculum on capital market studies as part of the financial literacy programme, for primary and secondary schools in the country.
Statistical data made available by the SEC, show that of the total investors registered within Nigeria’s capital market, investors within the young age bracket of 15-34 years currently stands at just 9 per cent
The curriculum which will be developed in partnership with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), will however, further boost investment education and broaden indigenous investor participation.