By CHIOMA OBINAGWAM
FOR the first time in the history of any capital market in Africa, investors in the Nigerian Capital market are now to get dividend payment within 24 hours through the e-Dividend Payment Platform.
Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mounir Gwarzo made this disclosure at the e-Dividend Sensitisation Town Hall Meeting in Lagos, recently.
According to him, the proposed system will automatically allow dividends to be credited directly into shareholders’ accounts within 24 hours of payment by the company.
Gwarzo stated that this was one of the initiatives being implemented by the Commission as part of its 10 year Capital Market Master Plan to encourage retail investors to return to the market and thereby deepen the market.
“One of our strategies is to target the retail investor; the only way we can deepen the market and ensure that the market is within our own grip is to ensure that the retail investor comes into the market. It is only the domestic investor that no matter the condition of the market will stay with us, what we have been experiencing in the market is the dominance of the foreign investor where anytime they want to move out of the market they get out and anything they want to come in they do so.”
He said it was because of the benefits Investors can obtain from e-Dividend registration that is why the Commission decided on embark on the sensitisation Campaign on the need for them to key into the e-Dividend platform by visiting their banks and registrars to complete the process.
The DG assured that once the e-dividend platform is fully operational the issue of stale warrant will be of the past, the issue of travelling from one place to another to deposit the warrant will be a thing of the past; the issue of change of address will also be eliminated.
“The BVN platform that will be provided for the e-Dividend will also enable us to implement other initiatives in the market. For instance with the BVN platform everyone in this market that operates in this market as an investor will have his data within this system, so if anyone wants to defraud in this market, it cannot be done. People cannot impersonate others as the platform will expose them” He added.
In his remarks, the Executive Director Market Operations and Technologies of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Ade Bajomo commended SEC in its quest to ensure that every Nigerian that invests in the market gets what is due them in good time.