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SEC decries low pace of e-dividend enrolment

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SEC decries low pace of e-dividend enrolment

 …says no going back on Dec. 31 deadline

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has lamented the low-pace of e-dividend enrolment by investors in the Nigerian capital market in the last three months despite massive awareness campaign to educate the investing public.

This is just as the regulator insisted that the 31 December 2017 deadline for stoppage of issuance of physical dividend warrants in the nation’s capital market remains unchanged. Against the backdrop of the low compliance SEC, which had given a directive to registrars to stop the conventional issuance of dividend warrants to shareholders on or before June 30, 2017 however, further extended the deadline to December 31 2017. Speaking at the Capital Market Committee (CMC) press briefing yesterday in Lagos, director-general, SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, said though the Commission realised that there is low pace in enrolment of e-dividend mandate in the last three months, there is no going back on the Commission’s decision to stop dividend warrant by December 31 2017. “We realised there is a slow pace in terms of implementation of e-dividend.

This is an initiative that is very close to our heart and at the last count; there are about 2.1 million Nigerians who have keyed into it. But in the last three months, there has not been appreciable increase in terms of number of enrolment, that is where we felt there is a need for us to have a conversation with the registrars and bankers.” Gwarzo pointed out that the registrars agreed to the discussion, saying, ”We expect in the next two or three months to see a significant improvement in terms of enrolment.

To leverage on that and to be able to optimise the support we have received, SEC has also been in the vanguard of public enlightenment”. He stated that as at December 31 2017, any Nigerian that has not register for e-dividend would now have to pay N150 for registration.

The Head, Vertical Markets Group, Nigeria Inter- Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBBS), Mr. Samuel Oluyemi, explained that about 51.819 investors enrolled in e-dividend platform last August, while 59,204 others registered in September.

He said that the number dropped to 37,153 in October. “The drop in the e-dividend further calls for collaboration among key stakeholders at driving awareness.” The free registration window is ending December 31, 2017 and our expectation at NIBSS is to have at least 50,000 investors registered monthly,” he said. “The dedication of NIBSS on e-dividend mandate is irreversible with 136 stockbrokers connected to the portal.

“What we have done with e-dividend portal is to ascribe each quoted companies to their registers. When investors pick a form, the companies managed by those registrars are listed under them. “The beauty of what we have put in place now is to ensure that stockbrokers begin to play a critical role in the e-dividend mandate registration of investors.”

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