The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would be focusing on identity management issues in a renewed efforts to check the incidences of unclaimed dividends in the capital market, which is currently put at N90 billion.
Ms. Mary Uduk, Acting Director General, SEC, who spoke in Abuja, said in the new year, the Commission would employ various strategies in a bid to tackle the issue, adding that other strategies would also be employed.
In line with this, Uduk said that the Commission has also approved the rule on electronic offering, which is expected to further help in reducing unclaimed divided once it comes into effect.
“Unclaimed dividends are legacy issues that happened way back in the past. Right now, you will not get unclaimed dividends from new issues. The major problem has to do with identity management, which the capital market and other stakeholders are working to resolve.
“Since then, items like BVN have been added to help in identity management. The capital market is also taking advantage of it. The Central Securities and Clearing System (CSCS) and the registrars are working together to ensure that more information from the legacy shareholders are being collected to be able to update their information and get them to claim their dividends,” she said.
“The registrars don’t have direct interface with shareholders. They deal directly with stockbrokers, but there is a committee comprising of the SEC, the registrars, the stockbrokers, the issuing houses, the CSCS and the NSE working on that in addition to the e-dividend management committee.
The committee has come up with a resolution, which was adopted at the last Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting. Part of the resolutions was that stockbrokers will update information in respect of their client.
“Before 2008, we had a lot of Nigerians who bought shares in the capital market and at that time, we did not have BVN numbers. Even, some of them did not provide their account numbers. What was agreed was that we would update information of such shareholders. That information will be transmitted to the CSCS and it will update their own information and send them to the registrars,” Uduk added.