Nairametrics| At its recently held Annual General Meeting (AGM), Afriprudential Registrars got the approval of its shareholders to change its name to Africa Prudential Plc. The company intends to expand beyond its core registrar activities to new areas, such as provision of software for cooperative societies as well as to other registrars.
A registrar is a company that maintains the records of a company’s shareholders or bondholders. In addition to that, registrars in Nigeria serve as a warehouse of sort for unclaimed dividends, running into billions of Naira. They thus have a large pool of funds which they can invest and make decent returns from.
However, all that is changing, since the implementation of e-dividends. In 2015, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in collaboration with the CBN and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) had launched a portal where shareholders can register and get their dividends paid directly into their accounts. This also includes outstanding dividends. The effort appears to be yielding fruit as N29.2 billion was paid as outstanding dividends between November 2015 and October 2016.
The NDIC and CBN are also making moves to take over unclaimed dividends in the country. These moves, if successful, will further reduce profits for registrars in the country. By diversifying into new revenue streams, the company would not be caught off guard if changes in policy affect its core business.
Afriprud Registrars was formerly a subsidiary of UBA Plc, but was spun off in 2013 in compliance with a CBN policy that commercial banks in the country either incorporate a holding company or divest from non banking subsidiaries. Shareholders in UBA got shares in Afriprud Registrars, and United Capital.