The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has given all shareholders and investors in the Nigerian Capital market 90 days to complete e-dividend mandate documents with their banks and Registrars.
The Commission said on Monday that investors must immediately approach the relevant banks and Registrars to process and upload their mandates to the e-Dividend Mandate Management System (e-DMMS) free of charge for the next 90 days, effective December 14, 2015.
At the expiration of the deadline, the Commission said subsequent registration of such investor documents would attract a fee of N100.
The e-registration platform was launched in July this year as part of efforts by the Capital market regulatory authority to eradicate the difficulties encountered by retail investors in claiming their dividends through their savings account.
The initiative is undertaken by SEC in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).
The Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, said at the formal unveiling of the e-mandate registration platform that it would address the lingering problem of unclaimed dividend in the market.
Mr. Gwarzo said the platform, which is part of the 10-year capital market master plan, would address the issues of non-payment of dividends into customers’ savings account.
“The era of stale dividends and huge unclaimed dividends in the market will be a thing of the past with the launch of e-dividend payment platform,” Mr. Gwarzo said. “The Commission will conduct intensive training for bankers and registrars on the usage of the new portal.”
The SEC DG emphasised the need for the Commission to implement the capital market master plan to transform the market for the benefits of all investors.
The Commission advised registrars to exercise caution while validating names generated by the system to avoid dissimilarity with the physical forms.
It further explained that ‘all registrars’ offices/ accredited outlets shall be points of upload of completed e-Dividend Mandate forms by investors who may, in the alternative, approach their bankers to process their completed e-Dividend Mandate Form(s).
On modality for the use of the portal, the SEC said every registrar should validate the investor’s shareholder account number, name, signature and Clearing House Number (CHN).
“This will be followed with the upload of scanned copies of completed e-Dividend Mandate Form(s) on to the portal for immediate access by the investor’s nominated bank for the verification of his/her bank account details,” Mr. Gwarzo said.
He urged Registrars to exercise caution when validating investors’ names generated by the system for the clearing house number, shareholder account number and bank account number against the physical form to ensure there was a reasonable level of congruence before the document was accepted and saved on the portal.
The receiving bank, he explained, may reject the mandate document uploaded by presenting registrars if the signature on the mandate did not tally with the specimen signature of the account holder in the bank.
He underlined the importance of investors education to complete separate forms for each shareholder account number, as upload of e-Dividend Mandate Forms shall be on the basis of individual shareholder number and company of investment indicated by the investor on the physical e-Dividend Mandate Form.
“To mitigate errors in the treatment of e-Dividend Mandate Forms, Registrars shall institute a marker-checker system that enables the verification and upload of e-Dividend Mandate Form(s) by a Registrar Uploader subject to confirmation and approval by a Registrar Checker,” the Commission said.