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SEC to reduce N190bn unclaimed dividends through investor clinics

SEC

By Motolani Oseni

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has concluded plans to conduct a series of investor clinics across the country.

This initiative is set against the backdrop of an intensive three-day investor clinic recently organised in Yobe State by the SEC, in collaboration with the Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company.

The clinic will address investors’ grievances and concerns regarding unclaimed dividends and related issues. It is also a strategic move to enhance investment inflows into the capital market and tackle the persistent challenge of unclaimed dividends.

Danladi Mohammed, who leads the SEC’s Zonal Office in Kano, emphasised that the clinic was part of a broader effort to enlighten investors about the benefits of e-dividend registration, dematerialisation of share certificates, and the direct cash settlement system, among other financial instruments.

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It is crucial in equipping investors with the knowledge needed to efficiently manage their investments and reduce the currently high levels of unclaimed dividends, which reportedly stood at N190 billion as of August 2023.

The statement read: “The initiative is one in a series of programmes, and strategies toward reducing the level of unclaimed dividends which stood at N190 billion in August 2023 by creating awareness, particularly in the regions to make the investing public come forward to take what rightfully belongs to them – This is one of the key objectives of the Capital Market Development Master Plan 2015 – 2025.

“It would be recalled that the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lamido Yuguda while briefing the members of the House Committee on Capital Market and Institutions on the overview of the capital market and its importance to the Nigerian economy intimated that the Commission had made several efforts in the past and has a lot of strategies and measures in place to tackle the rise in unclaimed dividends.

“According to the Director General, the core mandate of the Commission is to regulate and develop the capital market of Nigeria to be at par with its counterparts in other jurisdictions in all ramifications and the Commission is not resting on its oars to achieving and sustaining that mission. The Commission will embark on a series of investor clinics in 2024 in all the regions of the federation to provide the platforms for investors to reap the benefits of investing in the Capital Market.”

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