Nigeria’s capital market investors are not happy with the e-dividend mandate which was imposed by the market’s regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Some of the frustrated shareholders have described the process as “a scam”.

Why their grievance? According to the shareholders, the e-dividend process is difficult, therefore making it extremely impossible for them to claim their dividends. Note that dividends valued at N126.03 billion are currently unclaimed because of the so-called “difficult” process.

[READ MORE: Fidson’s shareholders approve N225 million dividend payment]

A shareholder, Mrs Olabisi Deji-Folutile, told reporters that the process is not as easy as the Securities and Exchange Commission had made it seem. According to her, she has been unable to receive any dividends despite completing the registration eight months ago.

“I went through my stockbroker and they told me they were going to process it through the registrars, but I have not heard anything from them.

“We need to know what is happening to our unclaimed dividends. I have shares in First Bank, Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, NPF Microfinance Bank, among others, but no dividends. They say maybe we have issues. But I was not told I have any issue. I provided all the documents needed. They need to tell us what is going on or what else we need to provide to receive our dividends.”

Business day

Other investors have shared similar experiences. Mr Olalekan Oregbesan even alleged that it is the registrars that make it difficult due to their extremely strenuous verification processes. In reaction to this, the Institute of Market Registrars argued that the identification/verification process is necessary for obvious reasons.

[READ ALSO: Stock Market: 52.5% of firms failed to pay dividend in 2019]

In the meantime, Mary Uduk, SEC’s acting Director-General, recently disclosed that dividends that are not claimed by shareholders within fifteen months would be returned to companies. The unclaimed dividends could then be plowed back into such companies, thereby facilitating their operations and ultimately increasing shareholders’ prospects of making more money in the future.

Deal book 300 x 250

6 COMMENTS

  1. It is a good topic .
    It is very sad if not worrisome the way some registrars treat investors . 1. You requested for CHN , BVN , Account number e-mail address , phone number etc
    2 .A demand of banker’s confirmation etc were supplied yet no courtesy of reaching out . I bought MTN & my broker completed the process and I sent mail to United Securities even where I have Shares in Access bank , Wapic . Same thing goes to Wema that just paid 3k whereas both dematerialization and e-dividend processes have been , for me I know the processes . If I had been in the market for over 25 years apart from instructing Youth Corps members , the operatives of some registrars need total cleansing . You know in Nigeria today , one will have to notify the Nigeria Securities and Exchange Commission before registrars can be apologetic with the needful thing .
    May I suggest the integration of the Investment Tribunal in all the states if we shall not see huge casualties of these nefarious registrars .
    The processes of dematerialization , e-dividend are not all that cumbersome when compared to issuing of sim card , passport , voters card , driver’s license or national identity card registrations .
    The registrars in Nigeria take investors too lightly .
    For example , it does not take you a whole day to transact at the Wall street far away from Nigeria and you get reply instantly .
    They ( registrars ) can disobey the CBN. , NSE , SEC just name it with disdain and scornfully belittle investors .
    Those days when we used to pay for same processes , they will collect your money yet they will soon run you flat .
    At another time I wish I can show the world document to prove my case .
    So much for that for now .
    I know a Professor of equity market in Nasarawa state university , may be they can send their desk clerks etc there , You will a times shudder a while the way and manner your names and addresses are printed no matter how legible you are at filling forms in respect to one equities !

  2. Suggested Solutions are:
    1- CSCS could pass bank details of Shareholders to Registrars while transmitting share transactions to Registrars
    2- Shareholders could use AGM as tool to change inefficient Registrars as the case with other professional services; Shareholders’ Associations are to be involved.
    3-Removal of obnoxious practice that makes completion of Stock Transfer Form compulsory before enrollment for e-dividend
    4-Companies could stop passing declared dividend to Registrars; legislation could be adjusted in this respect, after declaration of dividend, Registrars would furnish the paying Companies with the name of Shareholders that have been enrolled for e-dividend and required amount for their dividend, the paying Companies would only release the amount required and keep the balance in the Companies for the benefits of the Shareholders.Also dividend payment fees would depend on number of e-dividend enrolled Shareholders.
    5- Moral suasion to inefficient Registrars to enable desired efficiency-(A da ni lo’ro agbara lo fi ko ni) Literately means Whoever is making things difficult for You is teaching You to be strong.. If the Registrars are making investing difficult; Shareholders would look for solutions and alternative. Registrars’ actions are discouraging retail Investors.

  3. It appears the acting DG of SEC wants to short change investors with her ridiculous idea of returning unclaimed dividends to companies to plough back into their businesses. Investors should resist this suggestion and claim their dividends. The current practice as advised by officers of a renowned Registrars company (name withheld) that I visited recently is that unclaimed dividends become stale after 10 years of the official payment date. This gives investors enough time to sort out issues and claim what rightly belongs to them. Mary Uduk should be careful in promoting a policy that could impact negatively on the activities of the NSE. Dividends are the rewards due to investors, not the companies. If this unsavoury policy is forced through, investors will have no choice than to institute class action against SEC and earring companies. A word is enough for the wise. Let SEC and NSE imbibe practices that have helped develop the Western World and not invent obstacles that will after the market and its investors.

  4. Shareholders should resist the suggestion that their dividends are returned to companies to be ploughed back into their businesses.
    The gestation period of 15 months is too short because most investors need time to resolve issues with the new e-diividend process.
    I must confess that I am a fan of the e-dividend process but much still need to be done by the SEC and company registrars to educate and support investors to achieve a seamless service for the benefit of all stakeholders.

  5. Investors should resist the suggestion of returning unclaimed dividends to companies to plough back into their business.
    Dividends are due to investors as a reward for their contribution to the company’s business.
    The suggested time of 15 months is too short. The current practice of e-dividends lasting 10 years from payment date before become stale should be maintained for the benefit of all stakeholders in the Capital Market.
    A change in policy will negatively impact the activities and transactions in the NSE.

  6. This is truly a serious issue because, I am also facing the same predicament. The registrar asked for name, Bank details, BVN, PHONE NUMBERS and some other information which are provided on the e-dividend form only for you to be told that your signature is irregular. I want to strongly suggest that anyone that provides those information listed above should get his or her dividend without any problem whatsoever. This person (s) can be trace with the help of the information provided in case of any crime or issue. This will help investors to get their dividend and also restore confidence back to market.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.