Shareholders in the country who are yet to fill electronic dividend forms have been given a few months as extra time , as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has moved the deadline to December 31st 2017.
- The deadline was extended so more shareholders could take part in the e-dividend registration.
- The deadline was also extended in order for SEC to finalize its guidelines on issuance of e-dividend warrants.
- SEC’s sponsorship of the e-dividend registration by commercial banks will also continue till December 2017.
- 2.2 million investors had mandated their e-dividends as at April 30, 2017.
How to go about this;
Here is a step by step guide on how to go about this;
Visit the website of SEC via the dividend portal
Once you visit the portal, type in your name or the name of the company that was used in buying shares into the search bar.
The portal pours out a list of the companies you own shares in and the registrars. It also displays your account name and account numbers.
Click on any of the links inserted in the names of the registrars. It will take you to another portal that will display e-dividend forms
Download the forms and print them out.
On each registrars e-dividend forms you will see against it the list of companies that they manage. Check for your companies you have shares in and tick as appropriate. Fill out other portions of the forms. Attach your passport photo, sign behind it and also sign the form. If there are more than one signatories to your account when you purchased the forms (like other directors), get the other signatory (ies) to sign. If you bought the shares using your company name, you might need a board resolution authorizing you to sign on the company’s behalf. This will be important for the next step. You may also need to apply a seal to the form. Also, if the shares belong to a deceased relative then make sure you have documents that prove that you are next of kin or acting on behalf of the estate.
Take the form to your banker to counter sign. This can be a bit frustrating as your signatory has to match what they have in file. The reason why you go to a bank is that they will be the ones to verify if the signature on your e-dividend form corresponds with what you have in your bank account opening form. They also use it to identify your legitimacy. If it is a corporate account, then you will need to attach your board resolution authorizing you to sign on their behalf. A director and company secretary signs board resolutions.
Go and submit the forms with your registrar. Once you are there they will inspect to be sure you filled all the necessary information. Once done, they will confirm that everything is okay and ask you to await payment.
You await an alert for payment of your dividends.
Why you should get your e-dividend asap
SEC launched the e-dividend platform in July 2015 and set December 2015 as a deadline. After protests by shareholders, the deadline was shifted to December 2016. In January this year, it decided to extend it till June 30, 2017. Over N30 billion dividends that were hitherto unclaimed have been collected by shareholders. SEC has also granted an amnesty of some sort to shareholders who bought shares in an irregular fashion to come forward and claim them. Failure to do will lead to forfeiture of both the shares and dividends that accrue from them
SEC intends to convert the unclaimed dividends into a trust fund, a move the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and National Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) have opposed. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the apex regulatory body for Nigerian capital markets. Current rules on unclaimed dividends state that they revert to the company after a period of 12 years.