Investors Can Still Get Unclaimed Dividends of Dead Firms—SEC
By Adedapo Adesanya
Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Mary Uduk, has assured investors that they would still be able to get their unclaimed dividends of defunct companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The SEC chief gave this assurance in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, where she made it clear that shareholders must be paid what belongs to them no matter what so as to boost confidence in the capital market.
“They invested in a company and since the company has gone under, there is no reason why they should not have access to their unclaimed dividends. That is why we are calling on them to take advantage of this opportunity and claim their dividends” Ms Uduk was quoted as saying in the statement on Sunday,
She stated further that a complaint management framework to ensure that investors get attended to promptly has also been put in place by the commission.
“So, once you approach your registrars for your dividends to be paid and there is reason for complaints, you can always contact the commission for the issue to be resolved,” she added.
Ms Uduk noted that by doing this, it will help reduce the volume of unclaimed dividends in the market and ensure investor confidence.
The SEC chief further said about 2.6 million account holders have registered for electronic dividends, though the number of unclaimed dividends was still high. She however, said the commission would continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to sensitise investors on the need to regularise their multiple accounts as well as claim their dividends.
“Only recently, in our determination to reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market and encourage beneficiaries of deceased investors to step up efforts to claim such dividends, the commission exposed an amendment to our rules which reduced the time, processes and costs of the transmission of shares from a deceased to the beneficiary.
“The timeline for the transmission of deceased’s shares has been reduced from three weeks to one week. Going by that, registrars shall ensure that shares of a deceased are transmitted within a week of receiving the request from the administrators or executors. This effort will ensure seamless transmission and claim of a deceased’s shares by heirs and administrators.
“One of the things the commission has done is to encourage these people to come and regularize their accounts. As I speak about 2.6 million account holders have registered for e-dividend and many can testify that they are getting their dividends promptly,” she said.