The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned that any investor or shareholder of public companies who fail to forward their bank account details to their respective registrars/stockbrokers on or before June 3, 2013 to facilitate the electronic payment of future dividends may not have the opportunity to do so again.
“Failure to do so may amount to the automatic forfeiture of future dividends as dividend warrants would cease to exist from 3rd June, 2013 except in the event that a shareholder specifically requests in writing for the continued issuance of dividend warrants”, a statement from SEC reads.
The Commission says it is confident that the introduction of the E-dividend payment system would reduce to the barest minimum the accumulation of unclaimed dividends in the financial system and ensure that shareholders receive their dividends promptly, thereby improving confidence in the nation’s capital market.
The value of unclaimed dividends by investors in the Nigerian capital market at the end of 2012 had risen to N60billion.
The amount represents an increase of 46 per cent or N19billion over the N41billion that was recorded at the end of 2011.
Unclaimed dividends refer to dividends payable to shareholders but have not been accessed by the beneficiaries for a period of not less than 12 months.