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Shareholders to SEC DG: Address rising unclaimed dividends, frequent delisting

Shareholders to SEC DG: Address rising unclaimed dividends, frequent delisting
April 22
09:42 2024

Shareholders in the Nigerian bourse have asked the management of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to tackle untamed growth in unclaimed dividends.

Speaking to journalists on Sunday, the shareholders said SEC should also address the frequent delisting of companies from the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited.

On April 19, President Bola Tinubu appointed Emomotimi Agama as the director-general of SEC and Lairiga Katuka as the commission’s board chairman.

Bisi Bakare, president, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, expressed hope that Agama will use his experience to bear in repositioning and enabling the regulatory body to achieve the reasons for its existence.

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She urged the SEC board and management to tackle difficult issues that have over the years cast a dark cloud on the Nigerian capital market.

Bakare said the issues include “untamed growth in unclaimed dividend, and frequent delisting of companies from the NGX Limited”.

The SEC management under Agama, she said, must restore the glory of the commission as an apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, evaluate the road map to ensure it becomes realistic in the development, and position the market as a role model for peers across Africa and the globe.

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Speaking further, she asked the commission to renew the fight against abuses in the market by reducing infractions which have continued unabated as a result of unregulated malpractices.

Also speaking, Adebayo Adeleke, a shareholder rights activist, said the new SEC team must “accelerate the development of the capital market by improving the response time of the Commission to issues that need the Commission’s attention, intervention and approval”.

He lamented that the commission “delays a lot of things in the Capital market, and that frustrates operators and investors. SEC under Agama should always be focused on its primary task of protecting investors”.

As an immediate step, Adeleke requested the inclusion of shareholders’ representatives on the capital market committee (CMC).

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“It’s incomprehensible how Capital market decisions are made by CMC while owners of capital are locked out,” he said.

Also reacting, Boniface Okezie, the national coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), urged the new SEC board and management to make efforts to return the unclaimed dividend to their owners, urging them to work with the various stakeholders to move the capital market forward.

On the second banking sector recapitalisation exercise, Okezie charged the new SEC management to enhance its capacity such that it is not overwhelmed.

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