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Investors get 150 extra days for free e-dividend registration

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Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mounir Garzo has said that the commission has decided to extend the deadline for free e-dividend registration by 150 days.

He said SEC would bear the cost of registration on behalf of any investor who registered within the 150 days grace period noting that at the expiration of the grace period, subsequent registration of an investor would attract a fee of N100.

He noted that the e-dividend management system which was launched last year by the Commission in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) to enable investors have direct access to their dividends has enjoyed high level of compliance from the investing public.

According to him, within three months the public enlightenment programme began, the commission has achieved over 400 per cent growth in the number of investors that registered to have access to their dividends

Gwarzo said the Commission’s concern was to bring back retail investors to the nation’s capital market.

Gwarzo said that this is one of the reasons the Commission has embarked on various initiatives like e-Dividend, Direct Cash Settlement, National Investors Protection Fund (NIPF) among others to attract retail investors to the Market.

“We have pursued a lot of initiatives in the last year and we are pursuing more this year. We are taking it from a perspective that this market has never witnessed and the perspective is to address some of the lingering complaints of the investor. We believe that the retail investors are the owners of this market so our strategy should focus on them,” Gwarzo said.

While noting that Nigeria has less than two per cent participation of retail investors in its market, Malaysia has nine per cent, South Africa 19 per cent, USA 43 per cent, and UK 13 per cent, Gwarzo said dominance of the foreign investors usually result in undue depression of the market due to global fluctuations.

Gwarzo said the Commission has identified some of the challenges hindering the retail investor from accessing the market and believes tackling these challenges through the recent initiatives by the Commission would be more productive.

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