March 20, 2023.
The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has said unclaimed dividends which stood at N180 billion in 2021, represents only 5 per cent of the entire dividend declared in the Nigerian Capital Market (NCM).
Its Chief Executive Officer, Temi Popoola, stated this during a retail investor webinar themed: How to process outstanding dividends, organised by Futureview Asset Management Limited and NGX at the weekend via Zoom.
Whilst giving his opening remarks, Popoola said the issue of unclaimed dividends was not peculiar to Nigeria as other peer markets like South Africa are also grappling with about $68.3 million unclaimed dividends.
He said that some retail investors are unaware of the backlog of unclaimed dividends that has accrued to them over the years especially those investors with legacy investments done on their behalf or those who were bequeathed to them or handed over to them as inheritance.
“Unclaimed dividends which printed at N180 billion in 2021, represents only 5 per cent of the entire dividend declared in the NCM. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to work assiduously with stakeholders to reduce to the barest minimum, the cases of unclaimed dividends.
Recently, the Commission created an e-dividend portal to reduce the high incidence of unclaimed dividends. The e-dividend portal also enables proceeds from secondary market transactions to be credited to their preferred Bank Account (Direct Cash Settlement). Investors are forthwith encouraged to register on the portal to ascertain the value of dividends they are yet to claim.”, He said.
The Group Managing Director, Futureview Group, Elizabeth Ebi, during her remarks highlighted the need for investors to use the more formal route of fund managers for their investments as this could help them reduce complexity and generate better returns in the long run that they may not be able to achieve on their own.
Delivering her presentation, the CEO, Futureview Asset Management, Ugochi Nnodi, explained that investors could eliminate the hurdles of dividend recovery through different means: using a stockbroker; engaging a professional asset manager; or subscribing to equity mutual funds like Futureview Equity Fund.
“Some of the reasons for unclaimed dividends are lack of awareness, forgotten investments, multiple subscriptions, inaccurate or outdated information/identity management,” she added.
For his part, the Divisional Head, Capital Markets at NGX, Jude Chiemeka, said the exchange remains committed to utilising technology to optimise intermediaries and increase access to the market for retail investors.
Chiemeka thereafter said the exchange have established a digital gateway to democratise access to the market, reduce friction and drive retail participation in the capital market. (www.naija247news.com).