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SEC warns quoted coys, registrars to desist from selective dividend payments 

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SEC warns quoted coys, registrars to desist from selective dividend payments 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned listed companies and capital market registrars to desist from selective payments and dividend distribution.

SEC Director General Mr. Lamido Yuguda said this Saturday at the 10th Annual Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR) Conference, Fellows Investiture, Associate Induction and Annual General Meeting in Lagos.

Yuguda, in his opening speech, said that the commission’s attention had been drawn to the fact that some companies and registrars make selective payments and dividend distribution.

It also revealed that some were unwilling to release unclaimed dividends into their custody and employed various antics to frustrate shareholders from enjoying the benefits of the E-DMMS platform.

Yuguda said that the commission would not hesitate to sanction any trader who errs in relation to unclaimed dividends or any other problem.

“Therefore, we urge the ICMR to encourage its members to respect the Code of Ethics of the profession and as contained in the Rules and regulations of the commission,” he said.

Yuguda also regretted that the number of mandatory accounts has decreased for some time.

“Unfortunately, the number of mandatory accounts has been declining for some time and the pace at which investors are moving ahead to perform their KYC has not been encouraging.

“I urge ICMR and its members to do everything possible to address some of these challenges,” Yuguda added.

According to him, traders have a duty to uphold the integrity of the capital market to build investor confidence.

He said investors are the biggest assets in the capital market.

Yuguda emphasized the need for ICMR and SEC to work together and take advantage of the opportunities that digital technology brings.

He said this would help solve the persistent problems surrounding unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market.

Speaking on the theme: “Reinventing Nigeria‘s Capital Market for Growth: The Digital Technology Approach,” he said the commission will continue to engage with all stakeholders on new developments in the digital technology space.

“I think we all have a common interest in taking advantage of these opportunities, but also in mitigating the risks so that we can all reap the benefits.

“As you know, the SEC has committed resources to implement various measures to address unclaimed dividend issues.

“Despite this commitment of resources, problems still persist,” Yuguda said.

He noted that the commission had taken a three-pronged approach to regulating digital innovation: security, deepening the market and providing solutions to problems.

Yuguda said that the SEC will continue to ensure that intermediaries leverage digital technology in such a way that they better serve the needs of investors in all aspects of the capital market.

He said the commission had recognized that if the application of digital technology to fictitious market practices was not properly regulated, it could lead to results that would threaten investor confidence.

Yuguda said that the SEC will continue to ensure that intermediaries leverage digital technology in such a way that they better serve the needs of investors in all aspects of the capital market.

In his welcoming address, ICMR Chairman and Chairman of the Board, Mr. Seyi Owoturo, said that the COVID-19 crisis triggered a digital transformation in the way companies in all sectors and regions do business.

Owoturo said the goal was to ensure that new combinations of talent and technology deliver breakthroughs and value in investor experience and operational efficiency.

“We expect digital technology to deliver positive results in streamlining processes, harnessing data, and shaping entirely new ways of doing business.

“The outcome of this conference is expected to reposition the Nigerian capital market for a growth capital market that is attractive to investors and capable of supporting long-term investment needs in the public and private sectors of the economy.

“We are confident that the scourge of unclaimed dividends, the need for a shared market infrastructure and the changing role of regulators, the conference speech will fuel momentum towards repositioning the Nigerian capital market for sustainable growth,” said.

John Obaro, Managing Director / CEO of SystemSpecs Ltd., spoke on exploring digital innovations to solve the problem of unclaimed dividend in the country,

He said the technology could be used to open up new forms of operations, boost productivity, increase collaboration and partnership, among others.

Obaro said that to bring a lasting solution to the conundrum of unclaimed dividends, legislation and guidelines must be analyzed, as current laws cannot motivate industry players to aggressively seek a resolution.

He added that laws should be promulgated and guidelines issued that move the client to the center of investment benefits, while pointing out that there should be an automation of a properly integrated system.

Source: NAN

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