By Raji Rasak
Lagos – The Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, on Saturday emerged best company in the maiden edition of Dividend Payment Awards organised by Third Observers Nigeria Limited in Lagos .
The company was given the Gold Award for regular payment of dividends to its shareholders spanning 36 years.
In the Silver Award category, the winning companies are Total Nigeria Plc, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Berger Paints Nigeria Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.
The four companies were awarded silver for their consistency in paying dividends to their shareholders in the last 20 years.
The Bronze Award was won by Access Bank Plc. Learn Africa Plc, AG Leventis Nigeria Plc and May and Baker Nigeria Plc, having paid their shareholders for a minimum of 10 years.
Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos and the Chairman of the event, urged Nigerians to invest more in the stock market.
“We need to have more investors to invest in capital market, we can no longer depend on crude oil money again.
“I believe with more companies listed in stock market, we can turn around the fortune of our country and minimise our dependence on crude oil.
“I do appreciate what is happening in the capital market presently and it is an opportunity for investors to invest in it.
“I am using this opportunity to commend Third Observer for rewarding companies that are paying their shareholders dividends, this will encourage more companies to join the league,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Sunday Nwosu, the Vice Chairman, Third Observer Nigeria Ltd., said the purpose of the award was to encourage more companies to pay their shareholders.
Nwosu said the award was also intended to improve investments in the stock market.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dividend Payment Award for Nigeria’s Listed Companies is endorsed by the Nigerian Capital Market (NCM) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).