The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says that the unclaimed dividends figure in the nation’s capital market currently stands at N190 billion.
Mr Lamido Yuguda, the Director-General of SEC, said this at the second post Capital Market Committee (CMC) media briefing in Abuja on Friday.
He said the figure increased due to issues concerning identity management in the country.
Yuguda also attributed the rising figure to multiple subscriptions by investors during banking consolidation and identity management.
According to him, “we have legacy issues that have aggravated unclaimed dividends.”
Yuguda, however, said the commission was working with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), on the e-dividend portal.
He added that the SEC was working with NIBSS to make changes to the electronic dividend portal currently going through some form of upgrading and repair.
“We are working very hard to ensure we reduce the number of unclaimed dividends.
“This is why we are upgrading the e-dividend portal with NIBSS to restore investors’ dividend and reduce unclaimed dividends.
“We reiterate that every person, who has come to the capital market and invested money, should be able to get his dividends as and when due,” he said.
On dollar denominated bonds listed on NGX, the director-general said it was not a problem as long as it was a corporate one.
He said that the road ahead of the market was undeniably challenging but that the capital market would step forward in whatever way to lend its helping hand to the current economic reforms.
“We introduced the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirement so that all information needed will be collated.
“The market must make sacrifices to help drive the economic transformation that will change our nation’s fortunes for the better.
“The Chairman informed the meeting that the Investments and Securities Bill (ISB) 2023 was under consideration by the 10th National Assembly.
“The Bill aims to align regulations with the modern dynamics of the market and it is hoped that if passed into law, it will enable optimal contribution of the capital market to national development,” he said.
The director-general said that market players were urged during the meeting to prioritise cyber-security measures to safeguard sensitive financial data and transactions.
He lamented the trend where companies chose to de-list from the capital market.
Also speaking, the Commissioner, Operations at SEC, Mr Dayo Obisan, said one of the major issues bedeviling the commission was for beneficiaries to get access to claim their dividends.
“We keep putting our efforts to ensure that investors update their bank details, information and claim their dividends.
“But we still have some of them who fill in details wrongly.
“We at SEC are working very hard and we want to ensure bonuses get transferred to beneficiaries, capture everyone who is in the market so that our data is more robust.
“We can be able to work effectively on reducing unclaimed dividends,” Obisan said.