By Etuka Sunday
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday announced the continuation of its e-dividend registration exercise after the expiration of the free registration deadline.
SEC said, the e-dividend Free Registration expired on December 31, 2017, however, Investors that are yet to enroll, could continue with the registration exercise, at a marginal cost of N150 (one hundred and fifty Naira) only.
Recall, on June 29, 2017, SEC issued a circular for extension of deadline on issuance of Dividend Warrants and Free e-Dividend Registration Exercise to December 31, 2017.
The Acting Director General of SEC, Dr. Abdul Zubair, who made the announcement of the continuation at a Press Briefing in Abuja, said that “all Investors that are yet to enroll, are enjoined to continue with the registration exercise, at a marginal cost of N150 (one hundred and fifty Naira) only.”
He said: “Such investors should continue to approach their Banks or Registrars, as usual, to seamlessly mandate their Bank Accounts for the collection of their Dividends electronically, including unclaimed dividends, not exceeding 12 years of issue; as the N150 would not be demanded from them at the point of registration.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the N150 fee would not be demanded from the investors at the point of registration and/or submission of completed e-Dividend Mandate Forms.
Zubair also announced an extension of the Forbearance window for Multiple Accounts Consolidation to March 31, 2018.
According to him, “With a view to encouraging many more investors to consolidate their multiple subscriptions into one account, the SEC wishes to announce an extension of the forbearance for Multiple Accounts till 31st March, 2018.
“Accordingly, investors that bought shares of the same company during public offers, using different names, are allowed till 31st March, 2018 to continue to approach their Stockbrokers or Registrars, to regularize their shareholdings, in line with SEC Rules on customer identification. Thereafter, all shares NOT regularized shall be transferred, on trust, to the Capital Market Development Fund”.
The Acting DG disclosed further that in line with approved rules of the Commission; all Registrars have been directed to stop the issuance of dividend paper warrants with effect from January 1, 2018.
He noted that for the avoidance of doubt, all paper dividend warrants issued up till December 31, 2017 are valid and should be honoured. Banks and Registrars are accordingly implored to please note and adhere.
In his comments, Director External Relations of SEC, Mr. Henry Rowlands disclosed that SEC has consulted with other stakeholders to ensure that the process is seamless; adding that investors should entertain no fear of being charged until their registration is approved.
He however explained that, “Where the investor’s account is not funded, the parties have agreed that such an enrolment request will be disapproved because the account is not funded and the investor will be alerted accordingly.”
He said, as at last count, the Commission has registered about 2,100,000 (Two Million, One Hundred Thousand) investors.