The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended the recapitalisation deadline for Capital Market Operators (CMOs) and e- Dividend Mandate Management System (e-DMMS) free registration exercise.
The new deadline for CMOs and e-DMMS registration for investors is now December 31st, 2016.
This information was disclosed by the Director General of the commission, Mounir Gwarzo at the post Capital Market Committee, CMC Meeting with newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday.
“We will no longer extend the deadline for the recapitalisation of capital market operators as they have been given enough time. Any operator who does not meet the deadline would be sanctioned as their licenses would be revoked and be suspended from the market,” Gwarzo said.
“Whenever they want to come back to the market they have to register and go through the gamut of registration exercise before licenses would be given to them.”
In a bid to reduce the incidences of unclaimed dividend, the commission also directed registrars in the nation’s capital market to discontinue the issuance of dividend warrants to investors with effect from June 30, 2017.
Speaking on market development, the SEC boss also frowned at the number of people that have registered for the free e-DMMS exercise.
The free e-DMMS exercise was introduced by the SEC to encourage more investors and protect their investment in the market.
He said: “Only six thousand (6,000) Nigerians have so far registered for e-dividend, which will allow their dividends to be credited directly into their chosen bank accounts, almost one year after the SEC commenced the campaign with the launch of e-dividend mandate.
“Given the fact that there has been low turnout for the e- dividend registration, we have now extended the free e-DMMs exercise from September to December 31st December, 2016.
“The commission will bear the cost of processing the e-dividend up to December 2016. No bank or registrar is to collect any fee in this regard from investor”
Gwarzo further stated that the commission is working hand in hand with the presidency to ensure a successful implementation of the 10 year capital market master plan.
“The Capital Market Master Plan Implementation Committee, CAMIC, met the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; we also met the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. This is to ensure that we have their buy-in because for you to be able to implement the Master Plan successfully, you need the buy-in of the executives, legislature and the judiciary.
“The market went down and a lot of investors lost money in this market and sometimes two years after, the Capital Market Committee (CMC) felt there was a need to come together and prepare a document that will be able to address some of these challenges.”
According to the DG, Recapitalisation, Direct Cash Settlement, e-Dividend, National Investors Protection Fund (NIPF), and Corporate Governance Scorecard are some of the recorded achievements the implementation of the Master Plan has yielded so far.
He was upbeat that the issue of unclaimed dividend will be a thing of the past as concrete steps to address the concerns of retail investors are in place.
“The issue of unclaimed dividend which according to our records is in excess of N80billion will also be a thing of the past. These unclaimed dividends came about from dividends of small stakeholders like you and me and we need to ensure that they are claimed” Gwarzo added.
Gwarzo further explained that once an investor registers for e-dividend, the backlog of his/her unclaimed dividend that are not yet status barred would be credited to his account by his registrar.
He said that SEC would continue to underwrite the registration for e-dividend uptil December 2016, noting that registration after the stipulated timeline would attract a token fee.
He assured investors that the proceeds from their shares will be paid directly into their bank account, stressing that the era where shares will be sold and the proceeds will be given to the broker who will then pay the client is over.
With this latest development, once the client has authorised the broker and provided all his details, the proceeds will be paid into the client’s account.