The Free electronic dividend registration sponsored by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will end today. The regulator had paid commercial banks in the country to register investors for free.
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. It was again extended til December 31st 2017.
SEC also created a portal, for shareholders to search for stocks they own and register for electronic dividends.
What happens after the deadline ?
From next year, shareholders will be expected to pay a fee to register for electronic dividends. Physical dividends will no longer be issued to shareholders.
Why you should register for e dividends ASAP
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. Current rules on unclaimed dividends state that they revert to the company after a period of 12 years.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the apex regulatory body for Nigerian capital markets. The SEC came into existence in 1979, following a comprehensive review of the Nigerian financial system, with the promulgation of SEC Decree No. 71 of 1979.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, had recently suspended the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Mounir Gwarzo and several staff of the commission. The suspension was to enable the an unhindered investigation into aallegations of financial impropriety levelled against the DG.
Gwarzo has been accused of collecting a severance package of a N104 million, despite advice from SEC’s legal department not to do so, since he was still in the employ of the commission. The Director-General was also accused of awarding contracts to companies controlled by wife and brother.
The commission has also been involved in a war of words with Oando Plc, over plans to conduct a forensic audit on the company’s affairs. Oando has however stated its willingness to cooperate after it had lost several law suits.