The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it will launch the electronic dividend (e-dividend) portal on November 30, 2023, to solve issues of unclaimed dividends and identity management.
Lamido Yuguda, SEC director-general, spoke on Tuesday during a training for journalists, organised by the Nigerian Capital Market Institute (NCMI) in Lagos.
Addressing the issue of unclaimed dividends, the SEC boss said the portal will solve identity management and multiple subscription issues.
“To help solve the perennial problem of unclaimed dividends, the commission has embarked on the creation of a new e-dividend portal, which is expected to become operational on the 30th of November 2023,” he said.
“Once operational, this portal will simplify the process of mandating accounts for e-dividend. This will improve efficiency and ultimately lead to a significant fall in unclaimed dividends.”
INVESTMENT BILL PASSAGE
Further speaking on other developments in the commission, Yuguda said the capital market master plan (CMMP) — targeted at taking the market to the desired destination by 2025 — has been revised.
However, he said in a bid to improve the capacity of the sector an investment bill was initiated but is yet to be passed by the national assembly.
The SEC boss appealed for the passage of the bill to enhance market growth.
“The commission successfully revised the CMMP to reflect current realities and adjusted the plan to suit the desired future state of the capital market,” Yaguda said.
“To strengthen its ability to carry out its mandate, and to have enabling laws that support its activities in today’s dynamic markets, the commission embarked on amendment of the investments and securities Act (2007).
“The investments and securities Bill (2023) is presently at the national assembly and we appeal for speedy passage of the bill to enable us to position our market better for the economic growth of our dear country, Nigeria.”
‘NIGERIA HAS HUGE INFRASTRUCTURE DEFICIT, NEEDS MORE CAPITAL INVESTMENT’
Yuguda said Nigeria has a huge infrastructure deficit and the only viable source of financing “this deficit is private capital through the capital market”.
He said, in collaboration with Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS2020) of Nigeria’s central bank, SEC has prepared a securitisation bill that would support an “asset-backed bond market to address both commercial and residential real estate needs of the country”.
“We also have certain provisions on the investments and securities bill 2023 presently before the national assembly that would help support the capital market in its quest to be the solution provider to our infrastructure needs,” the SEC boss said.
Yuguda also said the commission set the target of improving the market capitalisation to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio from 30 percent to 50 percent over the next three years.
He added that the SEC supports the economic growth of the country and the renewed hope agenda of the present leadership in helping attract foreign investment into the country and ease the forex liquidity challenges.
“Proper regulation, good market conduct, and efficient market practices will make our market attractive. We strive for these,” Yuguda said.
The director-general said to manage risk and entrench trust in collective investment schemes (CIS), the commission mandated that all CIS funds be held in custody.
This, he said, would help the growth of funds — adding that CIS moved from about N1.1 trillion at the beginning of 2020 to about N2.1 trillion at the end of October 2023.
Source: The Cable Newspaper