SEC moves to tackle unclaimed dividend issue in capital market

Alhaji Mounir Gwarzo….Unveils e-dividend payment platform 

Efforts by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to tackle unclaimed dividend problems in the Nigerian capital market received a boost on Wednesday, with the launch of e-dividend payment platform.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony in Lagos, the Director-General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, said that the platform was initiated in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

Gwarzo said that the e-dividend payment platform would address the lingering unclaimed dividend issue in the market, adding that the commission was determined to see the full implementation of the e-dividend payment system. He said that the market had been awaiting the dividend payment platform in the past 20 years.

“The era of stale dividend and huge unclaimed dividend in the market will be a thing of the past with the launch of e-dividend payment platform,” Gwarzo said.

The director-general assured that the commission would embark on massive public enlightenment campaign to educate investors on how to utilize the portal.

Gwarzo stated that the commission would also conduct intensive training for bankers and registrars on the usage of the new portal. Also speaking, the Head, Business Process, NIBSS, Samuel Oluyemi, said that the portal was developed under auspices of zero tolerance on unclaimed dividend being pursued by the commission.

Oluyemi said that the platform would allow direct payment of dividend into investors’ account, adding that client’s dividend would be credited directly once the mandate form was completed appropriately. Oluyemi said that investors in the mandate form would supply bank account number, registrars shareholders account number, clearing house account number and bank verification number (BVN).

He stated that investors would not be charged for mandate verification, noting that it had been resolved that dividends could be paid into savings and current accounts.

Oluyemi said that the portal would also accept payment of dividend into dormant accounts, adding that an investor could only withdraw the money after revalidating the account. He added that registrars had been mandated to provide online access of the mandate forms to investors in diaspora for efficient implementation of the e-dividend payment platform.

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