By Obas Esiedesa
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has given investors who bought share under different names December 31 deadline to regularize their accounts.
Ag. Director General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk says this would enable the investors get the benefit of their investments.
Uduk who spoke after the second Capital Market Committee Meeting in Lagos, explained that shareholders who cannot properly indentify themselves are unable to benefit from their investments.
According to her, “During the banking and insurance sector consolidation between 2004-2007, there were a lot of issues in the primary market because the banks or insurance companies came to the market to raise funds and during that period, because a lot of people were coming to the capital market for the first time, they saw the capital market as a place where they can make a lot of money so a lot of them bought shares in different names.
“Today those shares are not in the system, because If you are unable to identify yourself properly those shares cannot be properly captured in the system. We are saying come and regularize that situation and get back your shares which are being warehoused somewhere. There is absolutely no punishment attached to it, the SEC is not punishing anybody, we just want such individuals to come and regularize that transaction between now and 31st December 2018.
“The objective of doing that is that it will increase liquidity in the market because the shares are just there no trading on them, not only that, the investors cannot claim their dividends too and that increases unclaimed dividend. Let them come and regularize so that there will be increase in trading of those shares and they will also claim their dividends so that the balance of unclaimed dividends will also go down”.
The meeting is a periodic gathering of stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market to discuss capital market related matters. The event, which was well attended by stakeholders in the market, including the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital market and Institutions, featured presentations by various Market Technical Committees, Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs) and other Stakeholders.
Uduk also said the meeting agreed that in addition to the physical delivery of Annual Reports and Accounts, the existing pilot exercise of electronic distribution by public companies should continue, while efforts are made to enlighten shareholders and obtain their relevant e-mail addresses.
The meeting she said, also resolved that following the completion of the work by the committee on Minimum Operating Standard, the commission would work with trade group associations to implement the committee’s recommendations
“We also enjoined Trade Group Associations who are yet to register with the Commission should register immediately, while the Capital Market Operators (CMOs) are expected to register with their respective Trade Group Associations on or before December 31, 2018 and also devised to constitute a Market-wide Financial Technology (FINTECH) Committee to develop a FINTECH framework for the Nigerian Capital Market” she said.
The SEC boss expressed delight that the Nigerian capital market within the quarter under review witnessed some achievements in various segments of its operations.
These achievements she said, validate the continuous efforts of all market participants and include aggressive use of various social media platforms to boost financial literacy campaigns such as the creation and deployment of a one minute Financial Literacy video on YouTube, the renovation of five warehouses by the Nigerian Commodities Exchange (NCX) in preparation for commodities trading.