The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to address the persistent issue of unclaimed dividends by creating a new e-dividend portal, according to Lamido Yuguda, the Director General of SEC. Speaking at a post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) media briefing, Yuguda revealed that the new portal is expected to be operational by November 30, 2023.
Yuguda emphasized that the upcoming e-dividend portal would simplify the process of mandating accounts for e-dividend, enhancing efficiency and contributing to a significant reduction in unclaimed dividends. The move is part of the SEC’s broader efforts to prevent new dividends from accumulating as unclaimed, and it aligns with the commission’s commitment to ensuring a smoother dividend payment process for shareholders.
In addition to the e-dividend portal initiative, the SEC is actively supporting the development of an identity management system. This system aims to ensure proper identification of investors and market participants, thereby preventing issues that contribute to the accumulation of unclaimed dividends.
Addressing the current market dynamics, Yuguda noted that the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) market capitalization is being primarily driven by renewed local investor confidence, as foreign investors face challenges related to foreign exchange (forex). He expressed optimism that government initiatives to address forex challenges would attract foreign investors back to the market.
Turning attention to the commodities market, Yuguda highlighted its substantial growth and revealed that the SEC has registered five commodities exchanges, actively supporting their development. The ongoing revamp of the Nigerian Commodities Exchange (NCX) by the Central Bank of Nigeria has also received support from the commission.
In a separate development, the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) recently concluded its inaugural hackathon challenge. Team Hi-Tech emerged as the winner, securing a top prize of N3 million for their creation, Padi4Life. The hackathon, conducted in partnership with Ingressive For Good (I4G), attracted over 2,900 entries and showcased innovative digital financial solutions developed during the 72-hour competition. FCMB expressed its commitment to fostering innovation through open banking and encouraged collaboration between winners, participants, and the bank to drive the future of Open Banking.