SEC pays N42bn unclaimed dividends to investors

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Director-General, SEC, Mr. Munir Gwarzo

The Securities and Exchange Commission, on Tuesday, said it had paid about N42bn out of about N117bn unclaimed dividends to investors.

The Director-General, SEC, Mr. Munir Gwarzo, said this at a public hearing organised by the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Capital Market on “The need to determine the status of unclaimed N90bn dividends in securities for Nigerian investors.”

Gwarzo said efforts by the SEC to address the issue of unclaimed dividends were already showing result with the e-dividend registration system.

He said as a result unclaimed dividend had dropped from N117bn to N75bn.

Gwarzo said, “As of today, based on the reports we received from the registrars, almost N42bn unclaimed dividends have so far been paid, out of a total of N117bn unclaimed dividends as of December30, 2016, which means our message of unclaimed dividend is yielding positive results.”

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, requested for the list of the beneficiaries.

The Director General of SEC said this would be transmitted to the panel as soon as possible.

The President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, while declaring the hearing open, said although the commission was making efforts to address the issue, it had remained prevalent.

Saraki, who was represented by the Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said, “I am quite aware of the recent initiative of SEC by introducing the e-dividend policy to ensure that accounts of investors are credited directly within 24 hours after the declaration of the dividends by the companies.

“However, the issue of unclaimed dividends remains quite critical, as it has endangered the progress of the Nigeria capital market; an issue among others that has eroded our investor’s confidence.”

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