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SEC seeks CBN cooperation to address unclaimed dividends issues


LAGOS – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it will collaborate with the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to manage the high level of unclaimed dividends in the country.

Ms Arunma Oteh, SEC Director-General, made the assertion at the second quarter Capital Market Committee media briefing held in Lagos.

Oteh said that the commission would work with the CBN to ensure acceptance of dividend warrants in both savings and current accounts.

She solicited the CBN’s assistance in persuading commercials banks to accept dividend warrants into savings account.

“We will work closely with CBN to tackle issues that are mutually important to the market growth and development,” she said.

Oteh said the unclaimed dividends issue had remained worrisome and had been a disincentive to the nation’s capital market community.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes available statistics as pegging the current unclaimed dividends profile at N50.94 billion compared to N60 billion recorded in 2012.

She also said that the commission would embark on investor education to increase retail investors’ participation in the market.

Oteh advised retail investors to invest through the Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) to avoid “burning their hands” in the market.

She said that the Capital Market Committee (CMC) on Financial Literacy was working on investor education strategy to re-educate investors on how best to invest in the market.

Also speaking, Mr Oscar Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said that securities lending would commence in the first week of July.

Onyema said that the Securities Lending Agents (SLAs) were working to ensure smooth commencement of the initiative launched in 2012 to boost market liquidity.

He said the major challenge of the initiative was market acceptance, noting that the exchange would ensure proper training of operators to enhance understanding and acceptance.

On the exchange demutualisation exercise, Onyema said that it had set up several committees to work on the legal framework.

He said that the exercise would commence at the completion of the legal framework. (NAN)

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