The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended the deadline for the stoppage of issuance of physical dividend warrants in the nation’s capital market to Dec. 31, 2017.
The stock market regulator also extended the underwriting cost of investors’ e-dividend registration to Dec. 31, 2017 from against the earlier underwriting deadline of June 30, 2017 as part of its developmental role to curb the menace of unclaimed dividend.
Naif Abdussalam, SEC Head, Corporate Communications disclosed this in an interview with newsmen Wednesday in Lagos.
He said that the deadline was extended to give room for investors to key into the e-dividend payment platform. He told journalists that the extension became necessary to perfect the commission’s rules on issuance of dividend warrants that was exposed to the public a week ago.
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He stated that the commission’s issuance of dividend warrants would be a thing of the past by Dec. 31, 2017, with the amendment of the rules and keying into the e-dividend payment platform by more investors.
SEC had in 2016 announced June 30, 2017, as deadline for issuance of physical dividend warrants to shareholders by quoted companies to tackle unclaimed dividends and mitigate the risks associated with warrants.
Abdussam said that the e-dividend would strengthen the KYC of all investors in the capital market to curb unclaimed dividend and stoppage of unauthorised sale of shares in the market, adding that lost of dividends would be a thing of the past with the e-dividend payment platform.
He said that the commission would continue to leverage on the BVN initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost investors’ confidence in the nation’s capital market.
Reports credited to Mounir Gwarzo, SEC Director-General said that 2.2 million investors had mandated their accounts for the e-dividend payment policy as of April 30, 2017.
Gwarzo was specifically quoted as saying that the commission would urge all listed companies to participate in the on-going enlightenment campaign on e-dividend by informing their shareholders at Annual General Meetings (AGM) on the processes put in place to increase the figure.
He explained that the e-dividend form could be obtained and properly filled at bank branches or in the office of a registrar and stock broking firms, or could be downloaded and filled by individuals. He added that the major aim of the e-dividend payment system was to curb unclaimed dividends in the market, noting that unclaimed dividend figure was reducing due to the e-dividend. Newsmen also report that major shareholder groups in the capital market had been calling for the extension of the deadline to allow more investors to embrace the initiative.