SEC cancels banker confirmation in e-dividend registration
The huge number of unclaimed dividendss in the nation’s capital market may become a thing of the past, as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), at the weekend, ending the use of bankers’ confirmation form in processing e-dividend registration.
The move was aimed at increasing participation of the e-dividend registration exercise, as this is one of the hurdles investors must cross before the dividend is released.
SEC had recently decried low participation in e-dividend registration, stressing the need for investors to enroll in the e-dividend registration platform, to stem the rising figure of unclaimed dividend in the market, currently put at N103 billion as at December 2017.
The e-registration platform was designed as part of efforts by the Capital market regulatory authority to eradicate the difficulties encountered by retail investors in claiming their dividend through their savings account.
But in an interview with The Guardian, shareholders, who lauded SEC’s efforts so far to address the anomaly, however, argued that the attitude of registrars and bank charges pose a serious threat to the commission’s determination to end the problems associated with an unclaimed dividend.
The Publicity Secretary of the Independence Shareholders Association, Moses Igbrude, said: “The e-dividend project is a laudable one which most stakeholders in the capital markets value because it would make it easier for investors to receive their dividend once is declared.
He categorically stated that the tediousness of the process is something SEC needs to address to encourage those in the hinterland.
The Acting Director-General of the SEC, Mary Uduk, while addressing participants at the third capital market committee meeting, held in Lagos at the weekend, stated that investors will no longer complete the banker’s confirmation form registration in the market.
She pointed out that the completion of the bankers’ confirmation form is a duplication of process, noting that once the investor completes the registrars’ e-dividend mandate form, all the necessary details are already captured in the form.
“For banker’s confirmation, once you fill the e-dividend mandate form, you do not need to go to the bank again, it is duplication, that us why we said that with thee dividend mandate form, you do not need another bankers confirmation,” she said.
Uduk noted that the commission is currently engaging multinationals across sectors, especially in telecoms and oils gas to attract more listings by 2010.
According to her, SEC is also interfacing with stakeholders to create appropriate regulation and to consider introducing incentives aimed at attracting multinationals in telecoms, oil, and gas to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
She added that this would encourage more companies to list on the NSE, spur activities in the market and create more wealth for the investing public.
“We are looking at sector by sector approach, we are doing it holistically to ensure that we attract more listings. We are now implementing these in stages to encourage more listing through incentives; reducing time to market and having these sectors know the value proposition the capital market provides. We are talking with stakeholders to give tax incentives to these companies,” she said.
On the issue of demutualisation of NSE, the Deputy Director/Head, Registration, Exchanges, Market Infrastructure and Innovation Department, SEC, Emomotimi Agama, said the process in ongoing, noting that the commission wants to ensure a thorough and transparent process.
“We are reviewing the application the NSE has submitted, it is not a simple process. We have to be thorough, it on course, we will be transparent and come out with an equitable process.”