Home Business Shareholders task SEC on CAMA review over N90bn unclaimed dividends

Shareholders task SEC on CAMA review over N90bn unclaimed dividends

by Business News Report

Some shareholder groups yesterday in Lagos called for review of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) in view of unclaimed dividends piling at the capital market.

They said that the committee being proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the issue should be quickly constituted.

Director-General of SEC, Mr Mounir Gwarzo, recently said that the commission would soon set up a capital market committee to tackle the N90 billion unclaimed dividends matter. Mr Boniface Okezie, President of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) told NAN that the committee, when set up, should amend Section 383 of CAMA to address the issue. Okezie said that the committee should initiate a bill to the National Assembly to seek review of the 12-year old statute-bar placed on that section of CAMA.

“We should not be talking about statute-barred now; dividends should be claimed at any given time. The stock of unclaimed dividends will continue to increase in the market unless Section 383 of CAMA is amended,” he said. The shareholders’ president also urged SEC to collaborate with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on acceptance of dividend warrants into both savings and current accounts. He said that some banks rejected lodgement of dividend warrants into savings accounts, adding that such had contributed to the rising figure of unclaimed dividends in the market.

He said that shareholders would not support the establishment of Unclaimed Dividend Trust Fund (UDTF), pointing out that unclaimed dividends fund belonged to investors, not government.

Okezie urged SEC to strengthen its nationwide enlightenment on e-dividend platform to enhance investors’ participation.

He stated that SEC needed to liaise with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) to address the hitches experienced in using the platform for payment.

Mr Sunny Nwosu, National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said the review of CAMA was long overdue.

According to him, dividend once declared belong to shareholders and should not be ploughed back into companies. Nwosu recalled that SEC had promised to review CAMA in the last 10 years, adding that the review should be made public for contributions.


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