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Business News

SEC raises concern over unclaimed dividends in Nigeria’s capital market

To checkmate the increasing unclaimed dividends in Nigeria’s capital market, SEC has enjoined beneficiaries of deceased investors to claim their dividends.

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Mary Uduk, SEC

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.

British airways

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.

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Step 8: You await an alert for payment of your dividends.

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Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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    Business News

    Why some real estate companies are at risk of bankruptcy

    Many real estate companies affected by the pandemic have folded up, as housing subscribers were finding it difficult to service their mortgage payments.

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    Nigeria’s real estate industry attracts foreign investors, Real Estate: Still not out of the woods

    No doubt, these are trying times for different sectors across the Nigerian economy and the nation’s real estate segment is not insulated from the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Some operators and stakeholders have expressed their fears that if the Federal Government does not intervene, more real estate companies may be forced to shut their operations.

    Why firms may fold up – Experts

    The experts have lamented that despite the challenges facing the real estate sector, especially with the pandemic, the Federal Government has not paid due attention to the sector.

    The Managing Director, Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc, Dr Olabanjo Obaleye, explained that the government is yet to provide financial succour and other structural support to mortgage banks and the housing sector, even in the heat of the pandemic.

    According to him, the government appeared to be only concerned with raising taxes to boost revenue but has not provided the required succour to cushion the impact of the pandemic on businesses in the country.

    During an Earnings Conference Call, he said, “Many companies affected by the pandemic had folded up, as housing subscribers were finding it difficult to service their mortgage payment. There are two companies that have just collapsed due to the inability of their owners to get foreign exchange for the importation of raw materials.

    On the level of government support on COVID-19, there is nothing visible we have seen. We have read so many pronouncements on that from the government but we haven’t got any palliative in that respect. We have made proposals to government through our relevant authority but there is a need for certain funds to be set aside for this.”

    A real estate practitioner and also the Vice President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (LCCI) Gbenga Ismail, explained that the impact of COVID in real estate would be felt by stakeholders and property owners because of the tenancy/rent structure of the sector.

    Unlike what is obtainable in other climes like the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America where rents are renewed on a monthly or quarterly basis, Nigerians will feel the pressure now, as rents are paid in one or two years advance.

    According to Ismail, who spoke in an interview monitored by Nairametrics, most people that have either lost their jobs or whose salaries are slashed will feel the effect more now compared to last year.

    British airways

    He said: “Now, people won’t be able to pay rents or buy houses as planned. We are not sure of where the monetary issues are going now and not sure if lending will continue into the real estate sector. We are yet to see some of these things going on.

    “Even in inventories, where developers have put houses out for rent, the concern is who is going to rent them? Before COVID-19, we wait 6 months before houses get rented or leased but now it may not be less than 12 months.”

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    Business

    CBN says portal has reduced export documentation process to 30 minutes from 2 weeks

    The turnaround time could help to reduce delivery time for goods destined for exports and enable businesses to expand their output.

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    CBN health intervention fund gets new interest rate by March 2012, Nigerian banks’ non-performing loans drop significantly by 41% in 2019, External reserves decline by over 8% in 3 months, Nigeria’s external reserves increase by $1.36 billion in 13 days

    The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the introduction of its Trade Monitoring Portal (TRMP) has helped reduce the time of completion for the export documentation process from 2 weeks to about 30 minutes currently.

    This is as the apex bank has asked Nigerian commercial banks to take advantage of their presence in other parts of Africa to support Nigerian businesses seeking to expand into new markets.

    According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this was disclosed by the Governor of CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, at the Zenith Bank’s 2021 Export Seminar on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, in Lagos.

    What the CBN Governor is saying

    Emefiele said the apex bank through its Trade Monitoring System (TRMS) portal was helping to reduce the time it would take to complete the export documentation process adding that faster turnaround time could help to reduce delivery time for goods destined for exports and enable businesses to expand their output.

    He said: “Today, businesses can complete their NXP applications on the TRMS portal in 30 minutes relative to two years ago, where it can take as much as two weeks to complete the process.

    The CBN governor said the apex bank in collaboration with stakeholders is trying to reposition the Nigerian Commodity Exchange to facilitate greater trade for operators especially in the area of manufacturing, ICT, agriculture and financial services.

    He said that international buyers of raw and processed agricultural commodities can now enter into forward contracts with domestic suppliers on the exchange once the exchange becomes fully operational in the second half of the year.

    Emefiele believes that these forward contracts would help to support improved productivity for farmers and agro-processors and also help to improve access to credit for these entities using the forward contracts as collateral.

    Also, the apex bank boss has called on the commercial banks to support Nigerian businesses by providing trade facilities to those with strong potential for growth.

    He said that the CBN had moved to improve the productive capacity of businesses, which would enable them to take advantage of export opportunities in Africa.

    British airways

    Emefiele said, “Our intervention programmes in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, are helping to enable businesses to expand their scales of production, which is not only meeting growing domestic demand for goods but also providing goods for the export market.

    In addition, we have set up a N500 billion non-oil export stimulation facility with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank. This initiative will also help to enable greater exports of processed agriculture commodities into other markets in Africa and in the global market.’

    According to him, improving the business environment in Nigeria is also vital if we are to harness the gains from the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

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    What you should know

    • It can be recalled that the CBN, in October 2019, introduced the electronic forms for the purpose of commercial exports (e-Form NXP) to phase out hard copy forms employed for the same purpose.
    • The e-Form NXP which is expected to cover Oil and Gas and Non-Oil commercial exports is web-based and allows exporters to initiate the Form from their offices/homes to the authorised dealer bank with a charge of N5,000 as the fee per declaration for e-Form ‘NXP’ applicable.
    • Similarly, all authorised dealers were advised to access the form “NXP” electronically through a Trade Monitoring System available at www.tradesystem.gov.ng.

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