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Unclaimed Dividends in Nigeria’s Capital Market Hit N190 Billion



The current value of unclaimed dividends in the nation’s capital market has been reported by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as N190 billion. Mr. Lamido Yuguda, the Director-General of SEC, communicated this during the second post Capital Market Committee (CMC) media briefing held in Abuja on Friday.

Yuguda pointed out that this increase in the unclaimed dividends figure is primarily attributed to challenges related to identity management in the country. He also highlighted that the figure has been influenced by instances of multiple subscriptions by investors during banking consolidation and identity management processes.

He emphasized that the presence of longstanding issues has contributed to the escalation of unclaimed dividends. Despite these challenges, Yuguda assured that the commission is actively collaborating with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) to address the situation through an e-dividend portal.

Yuguda further disclosed that the SEC is partnering with NIBSS to make necessary improvements and updates to the electronic dividend portal, which is currently undergoing an upgrading and repair process.

“We are working very hard to ensure we reduce the number of unclaimed dividends.

“This is why we are upgrading the e-dividend portal with NIBSS to restore investors’ dividend and reduce unclaimed dividends.

“We reiterate that every person, who has come to the capital market and invested money, should be able to get his dividends as and when due,” he said.

On dollar denominated bonds listed on NGX, the director-general said it was not a problem as long as it was a corporate one.

He said that the road ahead of the market was undeniably challenging but that the capital market would step forward in whatever way to lend its helping hand to the current economic reforms.

“We introduced the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirement so that all information needed will be collated.

“The market must make sacrifices to help drive the economic transformation that will change our nation’s fortunes for the better.

“The Chairman informed the meeting that the Investments and Securities Bill (ISB) 2023 was under consideration by the 10th National Assembly.

“The Bill aims to align regulations with the modern dynamics of the market and it is hoped that if passed into law, it will enable optimal contribution of the capital market to national development,” he said.

The director-general said that market players were urged during the meeting to prioritise cyber-security measures to safeguard sensitive financial data and transactions.

He lamented the trend where companies chose to de-list from the capital market.

Also speaking, the Commissioner, Operations at SEC, Mr Dayo Obisan, said one of the major issues bedeviling the commission was for beneficiaries to get access to claim their dividends.

“We keep putting our efforts to ensure that investors update their bank details, information and claim their dividends.

“But we still have some of them who fill in details wrongly.

“We at SEC are working very hard and we want to ensure bonuses get transferred to beneficiaries, capture everyone who is in the market so that our data is more robust.

“We can be able to work effectively on reducing unclaimed dividends,” Obisan said.