Shareholders Group under the aegis of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) has called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to further review the deadline on full implementation of e-divided in order to reconcile all knotty issues surrounding to the programme.
In a bid to encourage more investors to key into e-dividend platform, the SEC had said that registrars will stop the conventional issue of dividend warrants to shareholders of companies quoted on the Nigerian capital market on June 30, 2017.
E- dividend simply refers to an online system of paying dividends to inventors whereby when companies declare dividends, which are the profits meant for investors, rather than send it by post, they will just wire it to the investor’s bank account.
The Commission in a recent notice on its website reminded the investing public the deadline of 30thJune, 2017, which will mark the end of issuance of physical dividend warrant, with a view to mitigating the risks associated with physical dividend warrants and improving investors’ experience.
However, the National Chairman, PSAN, Mr. Mr. Boniface Okezie, in a chat with New Telegraph, said that SEC has not put adequate measures in place before implementing the policy, which according to him, will drain shareholders’ money at the long run.
He said : “There is need to slow down its implementation as you don’t give deadlines when there is nothing on ground to guarantee safety of people’s money and you already set a deadline of July to bring an end to posting of dividend warrants to their various owners. “We don’t need unclaimed trustfunds but committee of members to sit and carry out reconciliation of account or list of shareholders who might have been paid by various registrars.
All the money will be managed by that body set up by SEC and they can be allowed to reinvest the money in government treasury bills or bonds, interest accrued will be used to pay members’ sitting allowance as the case may be. By this, shareholders will be paid when they come forward for their money.”
Besides, Okezie said : “There is also need for SEC to begin to propose to amend the CAMA to remove 12 years status bar from the book, which have hindered the owner of the investment to come forward and collect their money, which is the danger we are facing now over unclaimed dividends that have resulted in many cases of fraud nowadays.
“SEC should know that taking the money back to the company will not solve the problem rather it will lead to loss of more funds without any trace if care is not taken.”