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Investments: Nigeria’s unclaimed share dividends  hit N190bn, says SEC

*Lamido Yuguda, Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals  the Commission currently facing challenges, including identity management and multiple subscriptions compounding the number of unclaimed dividends in the Capital market

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has disclosed the shareholders’ unclaimed dividends in the Capital market now total N190 billion.

ConsumerConnect learnt the market regulatory Commission, however, noted that it is working with Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) on the e-dividend portal currently going through upgrading and data repairs.

Lamido Yuguda, Director-General of SEC, said this during the regulator’s second Capital Market Committee (CMC) briefing, monitored via Zoom Friday, August 25, 2023, in Lagos.

The Capital Market Committee (CMC) was mainly established to serve as a medium for exchange of ideas among market stakeholders as well as for feedback to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on how to continuously improve the market activities and regulation, according to report.

Yuguda also stated that unclaimed dividends are still a recurring problem in the country’s Capital market.

The Director-General further explained that the SEC is currently facing challenges, such as identity management, multiple subscriptions which is aggravating the number of unclaimed dividends.

The estimated figure of unclaimed dividends so far in the market stands at N190 billion, stated he.

According to him, the SEC is working with NIBSS to make changes to the electronic dividend portal which is currently going through some form of upgrading and repair.

Yuguda also explained: “We are working very hard to ensure we reduce the number of unclaimed dividends, and this is why we are upgrading the e-dividend portal with NIBSS to restore investors’ dividend and reduce unclaimed dividends and we reiterate that Every person, who has come to the capital market and invested money, should be able to get his dividends as and when due.”

Commenting on the development, Dayo Obisan, Commissioner, Operations at SEC, said that one of the major issues bedevilling the Commission is that beneficiaries not getting access to claim their dividends.

He further noted: “We keep putting our efforts to ensure that investors update their bank details, information and claim their dividends.

“But we still have some of them who fill in details wrongly.”

The SEC Chief said: “We at SEC are working very hard and we want to ensure bonuses get transferred to beneficiaries, capture everyone who is in the market so that our data is more robust and we can be able to work effectively on reducing unclaimed dividends.”

On Capital market master plan cum technology infrastructure

As regards the progress of the market’s revised capital market master plan (RCMMP), Yuguda noted that although it is a 10-year plan, it has achieved a lot in the Capital market as SEC has strengthened their regulations and has achieved a lot in the year.

The Director-General explained that one of the issues has always been robust technology.

He disclosed the Commission is working on launching its new state-of-the-art technology infrastructure 2024.

According to him, the Nigerian Capital market is well-positioned to meet the needs of the government.

Yuguda, therefore, urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to harness the Capital market to fund major infrastructure in the economy.

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