Capital Market Liquidity: SEC Underscores E-Dividend, Pledges Investors’ Protection

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again urged investors in the capital market to register for e-dividend so that they can maximize the benefits of their investments in the market.

The Executive Commissioner Operations of SEC, Dayo Obisan, who made the call at a forum in Abuja over the weekend, said the registration is necessary to reduce the amount of unclaimed dividends as well as increase liquidity in the capital market and the economy.

E-Dividend is the process of paying dividends due to shareholders through a direct credit into their chosen bank account electronically rather than the issuance of dividend warrant through the postal system.

Obisan asked investors to download, fill and summit the e-dividend mandate forms, which are available on SEC and Registrars websites as well as in some banking halls, to qualify for e-dividend.

“The forms are readily available on the SEC website, the registrars also have the forms on their websites, and even some banks have them in their banking halls. We therefore enjoin investors to download the forms, fill them out and submit, if they have any problems, they can readily reach the SEC through our various contacts. Once we receive such complaints, we will be able to put them in the right part of what to do to ensure they are mandated for e-dividend.” He said.

“Remember that they are not only going to receive their current dividend. Once they are successfully mandated, past dividends will be paid as well. We want investors to be able to get the benefits of their investments as that would also help to attract more investors to the market as well as deepen the market.” Obisan added.

The Executive Commissioner also noted that the Commission’s determination to protect investors necessitated the recent directive to Capital Market Operators (CMOs) on Know Your Customer (KYC) Update.

The SEC recently reminded Capital Market Operators of the Commission’s directives on update of investors’ KYC information which it said is still in effect noting that the exercise as critical to deepening the participation of retail investors as it directed all CMOs to accord it the highest level of priority.

Director General SEC, Lamido Yuguda

In his words: “It is quite important to let the public know that all these details the Commission is requesting them to complete is for their own benefit. As a regulator, yours is to create an enabling environment and to protect the investor, and you can only direct the operators i.e. the registrars, brokers or every other person that falls under your regulation to ensure that they don’t frustrate that process which is why at the Capital Market Committee meeting, one of the resolutions was that any operator that actually frustrates the unclaimed dividend process will be heavily sanctioned.”

He appealed to investors to complete this KYC as it is for their own benefit adding that SEC has spoken with the leadership of the Trade Groups and they have gone ahead to do adverts on the issue just to be able to reach a large number of investors.

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