In a quest to reduce the number of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has enjoined beneficiaries of deceased investors to claim their dividends.
Making the call at an enlightenment programme for Lagos State Probate Registry held in Lagos, the Acting Director-General of SEC, Mary Uduk who was represented, noted that one category of investors whose investment yields have contributed to the growth of unclaimed dividends are deceased investors whose beneficiaries as indicated in the will or letter of administration, have yet to claim the investments and accrued dividends through the share transmission process.
Uduk was quoted as saying the following:
“The capital market is a market for raising medium to long term capital via a number of instruments. The most popular of the instruments are shared and bonds with resultant yields of dividends and interests respectively.
“However, the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market has been on the increase as investors fail to claim the dividends from their investment in shares.’’
Understanding unclaimed dividends: Basically, these are dividends that have been paid by companies but are yet to be claimed by the shareholders. The reason for unclaimed dividend may include ignorance or shareholders’ change of address which, thereby causing them to missed their dividend cheques
Below are the step by step guide on how to claim your dividends:
Step 1: Visit the website of SEC via the dividend portal
Step 2: Once you visit the portal, type your name in the search bar, alongside the name of the company you own shares in.
Step 3: The portal brings out a list of the companies you own shares in and the registrars. It also displays your account name and account numbers.
Step 4: 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
Step 5: Download the forms and print them out.
Step 5: On each registrars’ e-dividend form, you will see against it the list of companies that they manage. Check for the companies you have shares in and tick as appropriate. Fill out other portions of the forms. Attach your passport photograph, 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 authorising 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.
Step 6: 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 authorising you to sign on their behalf. A director and company secretary signs board resolutions.
Step 7: 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.
Step 8: You await an alert for payment of your dividends.