The Issuers & Investors ADR Initiative (IIADRI), has petitioned the Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to probe the utilisation of unclaimed dividends by delisted companies.
IIADRI also urged SEC to investigate the final pay-off of investors of such companies. The petition reads thus;
“As you already know we are the foremost organisation with a mandate to ensure the stability and growth of the Nigerian capital market through the protection of the rights of both the issuers and investors.
“It is in pursuance of this objective that we call your attention to some unanswered questions arising from the delisting of public quoted companies and seek your clarification on this. It has come to our notice that some companies after declaring unclaimed dividend have gone ahead to deregister as public limited liability companies.
“We seek to know the law and policy regarding the unclaimed dividend in such companies as they convert to private limited liability companies.
“Finally, we call on SEC as the regulator of the capital market to probe all unclaimed dividend and final pay off due to shareholders in all public companies that have converted to private companies to ascertain the safety and where bout of this two set of unclaimed money in the likes of Enpee Plc, Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, Nigerian Tobacco Company Plc, among others).”
Past Developments: Note that the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) delisted Newrest ASL Nigeria Plc in 2018, and is now set to also delist First Aluminium Nigeria Plc. These are all voluntary delistings. Newrest ASL Nigeria Plc had applied for voluntary delisting as a result of its inability to meet up with the 20 per cent free float requirement of The Exchange, while First Aluminium Nigeria Plc chose to delist because its shareholders were not benefiting from its continued listing.