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Unclaimed dividends rise to N170 billion – SEC

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed that unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian Capital Markets rose to N170 billion as at December 2020.

This was disclosed by Director-General, SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, at the second post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) virtual news conference, on Friday. He added that the figure rose from N158.44 billion total unclaimed dividends as of December 2019, citing issues related to poor identity management.

What the SEC boss said

“We have problems with identity management in the Nigerian capital market and this is really one of the things the commission is trying to resolve.

“We have set up a high-powered committee to look at the issue. People bought shares under false names and multiple subscriptions.

“There is a problem with the process but there is a problem with us too as people because if you are buying securities using your own wealth; why will you use another person’s name, why will you use a name that will not be traceable to you?

“This became an issue after the introduction of BVN because BVN is tied to only one name,” Yuguda said.

He added that the SEC constituted a Committee on Identity Management chaired by Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and is expected to harmonise various databases of investors, and facilitate data accuracy in the market.

He also revealed that the SEC is optimistic that the outcome of the committee’s assignment would address the challenges of identity management and help resolve some of the issues we face in the areas of unclaimed dividend, direct cash settlement and multiple subscriptions.

He explained that the implementation of the Electronic Dividend Mandate Management System (e-DMMS) portal, has seen the total number of mandated and approved accounts from its inception in 2016 to July 2021 at 1,144,970, citing issues affected by covid-19 in its rollout.

In case you missed it

Recall Nairametrics reported last month that a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta granted an interim order restraining the federal government from having access to the unclaimed dividends of shareholders in the capital market, following a case instituted by shareholders under the aegis of Palm Wealth Shareholders Association (PWSA) asking the court to void the plan to take over unclaimed dividends.

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