Many Investors Have Abandoned Their Shares—SEC DG
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, has bemoaned the high level of unclaimed dividends in the capital market, enjoining investors to mandate their accounts for e-dividend in a bid to reduce the quantum.
Speaking last Friday when the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof Kabiru Bala led other top management of the school to the agency, the SEC DG said the major cause of this rising unclaimed dividends in the capital market was because many investors have abandoned their shares.
He, however, said to address this issue, the commission will collaborate with the institution to arrange investor clinics so as to further deepen the Nigerian capital market.
“So many investors have shares in the capital market and have abandoned them. People have not come forward to claim their dividends and this has led to huge unclaimed dividends and has increased the unclaimed dividends profile.
“The commission has over time been educating and enlightening the public on how they can get their dividends. Now they do not need to wait for the broker to send the dividend warrants through the registrars.
“The dividends can actually come to them directly into their bank accounts through e-dividend payments. We will arrange investor clinics to ABU to talk about issues in the capital market and encourage the staff and students to key in. ABU is reputed for giving the very best in tertiary education and some of us are proud graduates of the university,” Mr Lamido said.
He also said SEC is currently carrying out a number of initiatives that he stated would appeal to the younger generation and attract them to the capital market.
“Today, people like things they can do on their phones/tablets and that is why we are embracing technology in the capital market.
“Fintechs are attracting young people to do investments with their phones meanwhile the market still relies on paper documentation. This is really something of the past as we are committed to ensuring that our markets are technology-driven. Technology is the way to go and it is the way to really engage people. Once the youths buy an idea, it goes far and wide,” he stated.
In his remarks, the VC of ABU described the visit as part of the advancement of the university to keep in contact with their alumni as is done in most global universities.
He implored alumni to collaborate with their universities and institutions to assist such institutions where necessary adding that many universities are currently grappling with issues of funding.
“We know many institutions are grappling with issues of funding and these alumni can come in to assist. This will drastically reduce the incidences of industrial action by the staff,” he stated.
The Vice-Chancellor also requested for collaboration with the SEC that would enable undergraduates of the institution to intern with the commission for a specified period in a bid to understand in detail the workings of the capital market adding that, this will increase their employability chances.
“We are putting a lot of premium on these kinds of relationships to ensure that students can conduct research that would also be useful to the capital market. We are working towards reviving our endowment fund in a bid to bring sustainable development to the university and enhance revenue generation,” he added.