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SEC Instructs Registrars To Stop Issuance Of Physical Dividend Warrants



Shareholders who did not take up the free electronic dividend registration sponsored by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will now have to pay the sum of N150  per company to commercial banks.  Acting Director General of  the commission, Abdul Zubair disclosed this in a press briefing held in Abuja.

The fee will however not be charged at the point of registration or submission of electronic dividend mandate forms. The regulator had paid commercial banks in the country to register investors for free.

SEC launched the e-dividend platform in July 2015 and set December 2015 as a deadline. After protests by shareholders, the deadline was shifted to December 2016. In January this year, it decided to extend it till June 30, 2017. It was again extended til December 31st 2017. SEC also created a portal, for shareholders to search for stocks they own and register for electronic dividends.

The exchange commission introduced the exercise to reduce the high volume of unclaimed dividends running into billions of Naira.  Unclaimed dividends revert to  the company after a period of 12 years.

Deadline for regularization of multiple accounts extended

The deadline for the registration of multiple share accounts has also been extended. Investors that bought shares in multiple accounts have been given till March 31st 2018 to regularize them with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Shares not regularized will be transferred to the capital market development fund.

Going Foward

The commission has also notified registrars to halt the issuance of paper warrants with effect from January 1st 2018.  Paper warrants issued prior to that date remain valid and should be accepted by banks.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the apex regulatory body for Nigerian capital markets. The SEC came into existence in 1979, following a comprehensive review of the Nigerian financial system, with the promulgation of SEC Decree No. 71 of 1979.

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