The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended the deadline for stoppage of issuance of physical dividend warrants in the nation’s capital market to December 31, 2017.
Mr. Naif Abdussalam, SEC Head, Corporate Communications, who disclosed this in an interview in Lagos yesterday, said the deadline was extended to give room for investors to key into the e-dividend payment platform.
He said the extension became necessary to perfect the commission’s rules on issuance of dividend warrants that was exposed to the public a week ago.
Abdussalam stated that SEC’s issuance of dividend warrants would be a thing of the past by December 31, 2017, with the amendment of the rules and keying into the e-dividend payment platform by more investors.
Recall that SEC had in 2016 announced June 30, 2017, as deadline for issuance of physical dividend warrants to shareholders by quoted companies to tackle unclaimed dividends and mitigate the risks associated with warrants.
He also said that SEC had extended the underwriting cost of investors e-dividend registration to December 31, 2017 from against the earlier underwriting deadline of June 30, 2017.
But Abdussalam said the deadline was also extended to give room for enrolment of more investors in the e-dividend payment platform.
“E-dividend simply refers to an online system of paying dividends to investors 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.’’
He stated that the Commission’s decision to continue to underwrite the cost till December 31, was part of its developmental role to curb the menace of unclaimed dividend.
The commission’s spokesman said that the e-dividend would strengthen the KYC of all investors in the capital market to curb unclaimed dividend and stoppage of unauthorised sale of shares in the market.
The SEC boss added that loss of dividends would be a thing of the past with the e-dividend payment platform, saying the commission would continue to leverage the BVN initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost investors’ confidence in the nation’s capital market.