Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other stakeholders have reached agreement to stop the issuance of dividend warrants as payments for cash dividends with effect from June 30, 2017.
Briefing journalists at the end of the second quarter meeting of the Capital Market Committee (CMC), director general, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Mounir Gwarzo, said shareholders would as from July 1, 2017 receive their dividends through the electronic dividend (e-dividend) directly into their bank accounts.
According to him, the full automation of dividend payment will ensure that shareholders receive their dividends without delay.
He said the e-dividend would help to reduce the problem of unclaimed dividend and also ensure that the registrars can automatically pay the backlog of unclaimed dividends to verified shareholders’ bank accounts.
He said the Commission has undertaken to extend the free e-dividend registration till December 31, 2016, urging shareholders to take advantage of the opportunity to enroll for the e-dividend.
He lamented the poor response of shareholders to the initial e-dividend registration campaign noting that only 6,000 Nigerians have so far registered for e-dividend payment mandate launched by the SEC, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) in July 2015.
He stressed that the aim of the e-dividend system was to eradicate the difficulty encountered by retail investors in claiming their dividends.
Gwarzo stated that the commission would continue to partner with stakeholders to ensure that all retail investors embrace the e-dividend platform adding that the CMC also resolved that every bank and registrar would appoint an e-dividend champion that would interface with investors to settle issues arising from the e-dividend registration process.
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