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Unclaimed Dividends Drop by N29.2bn as E-Dividend Campaign Yields Fruits

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Nigerian stock market - Investors King
  • Unclaimed Dividends Drop by N29.2bn as E-Dividend Campaign Yields Fruits

The value of unclaimed dividends in the nation’s capital market has reduced by N29.2 billion from N80 billion, as a result of renewed awareness campaign by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for capital market investors to embrace the e-dividend registration introduced a year ago.

The e-dividend payment platform was introduced to address the rising incidence of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market.

Addressing journalists in Lagos last Friday at the post-fourth Capital Market Committee (CMC) press briefing in Lagos, the Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, said since the introduction of the e-dividend registration, N29.2 billion has been paid to investors out of the N80 billion unclaimed dividends as at end of last year.

He disclosed that about 1.4 million investors have keyed into the system between November 2015 and October 2016.

According to him, efforts made by the commission to ensure that the era huge unclaimed dividends in the market become a thing of the past is already achieving result with the e-dividend registration system.

He said: “When we started the e-dividend, the major challenge was for people to key into the e dividend mandate there are unclaimed dividend that has not been able to claim, the registrars were compelled to pay all the arrears of unclaimed dividend. From November last year to October this year, over N29.2 billion unclaimed dividends has been paid out. In this country, we have never had this kind of initiative that has reduced unclaimed dividends like we had today. Apart from the investor getting his dividend where ever he is, that investor will be able to get dividend that in the last five years he has not been able to get.

“The e dividend is for the interest of retail investors. Since we started implementing the master plan, our focus had been the retail investors to make sure they come back to the market and ensure that some of the issues they complain about are addressed.”

Gwarzo noted that aside tackling the issue of unclaimed dividends to woo retail investors back to the market, the commission has concluded plans to make the Direct Cash Settlement become operational by the first quarter of 2017.

“The direct cash settlement where we mandated the brokers who have the mandate of a client should credit the clients account when shares of the client are sold. This is against the initial idea that when they sell the shares, the proceed is credited into the brokers account,” he said.

Meanwhile, the SEC DG disclosed that the commission would stratify licences for various exchanges.

“What we have today are unified requirements for companies to set up an exchange now the stratification will lessen the requirement. For instance, if you want to set up an exchange under tier 2, the requirement will be lesser than that of tier 1 and if you want to set up under tier 3, the requirement will also be light and the kind of company that also be listed will be lesser than the other one. We think it will draw some of these small and medium scale enterprises to be listed because over the last 20 to 25 years, we have not seen any much progress in the second tier securities market,” Gwarzo said.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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TotalEnergies Chooses Congo Over Nigeria, Announces $600 Million Investment

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TotalEnergies

French multinational oil company TotalEnergies has decided to steer its investment focus away from Nigeria to bolster its exploration in the Republic of Congo by $600 million.

This decision marks the second time TotalEnergies has overlooked Nigeria in favor of other African nations amid policy inconsistencies and other concerns within the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of TotalEnergies, said the company is investing $6 billion in Angola over Nigeria.

Pouyanne highlighted policy uncertainties and related issues in Nigeria as factors influencing the decision.

In light of this strategic redirection, TotalEnergies has unveiled plans to inject $600 million into the Republic of Congo’s oil production and exploration endeavors, reaffirming its commitment to the African continent.

The investment aims to fund exploration activities and maintain production in Congo’s deep offshore Moho Nord field, a key contributor to the nation’s oil output.

A press statement released by TotalEnergies underscores the significance of this investment, indicating its potential to unlock economic opportunities not only for Congo but also for the broader African region.

The Moho Nord field, where a portion of the investment will be allocated, plays a pivotal role in Congo’s oil production, accounting for approximately half of the country’s total output, equivalent to roughly 140,000 barrels per day.

Expressing optimism regarding the investment’s impact, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne anticipates significant developments in the Moho Nord field, with the arrival of two drilling rigs signaling active exploration efforts.

Pouyanne remains hopeful that these efforts will yield promising discoveries by the year’s end, further solidifying Congo’s position in the global oil market.

Commenting on TotalEnergies’ investment, NJ Ayuk, the executive chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC), emphasized the potential for Congo’s oil and gas sector to drive industrialization and alleviate energy poverty across Africa.

Ayuk highlighted the importance of partnerships with companies like TotalEnergies in achieving these objectives, underscoring the pivotal role of foreign investments in Africa’s energy landscape.

In addition to TotalEnergies’ investment, the Republic of Congo stands to benefit from a new strategic partnership with Algeria in the hydrocarbons and energy sectors.

A memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries paves the way for enhanced collaboration, including the development of a roadmap for bilateral relations and the exchange of expertise between Algeria’s Sonatrach and Congo’s SNPC.

The agreement also signifies broader support for the establishment of an African Energy Bank, aimed at directing investments toward oil and gas projects across the continent.

As TotalEnergies redirects its investment focus to Congo, Nigeria faces the challenge of addressing policy inconsistencies and regulatory concerns to attract and retain foreign investment in its oil and gas sector.

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Nigeria Calls on UAE to Modernize 50-Year-Old Oil Pipeline Infrastructure

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Nigeria has extended a call to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for strategic investment.

The Federal Government of Nigeria said there is a need for the renewal and reconstruction of its more than 50-year-old oil pipelines.

Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, reiterated Nigeria’s vast investment opportunities during discussions held in Abuja with a visiting delegation from the UAE, led by Ambassador Salem Al Shamsi.

The discussions centered on the mutual interests of both nations in the energy sector, particularly in oil exploration and infrastructure development.

Lokpobiri emphasized the critical role of pipelines in transporting crude oil to export terminals, underlining their indispensable significance despite the advancements in alternative transportation methods.

He highlighted the outdated nature of Nigeria’s current pipeline network, most of which was established around the time of Nigeria’s initial oil discoveries in the late 1950s.

Acknowledging the enormity of the investment required, Lokpobiri assured potential UAE investors of attractive investment models.

He outlined a proposal where investors could recover their investments proportionately as crude oil is transported through the pipelines, thereby incentivizing their involvement in the modernization efforts.

Nigeria boasts abundant natural gas reserves, estimated at over 208 trillion cubic feet, positioning the nation as a significant player in the global energy landscape.

Lokpobiri emphasized the potential for further exploration and development in both gas and crude oil sectors, signaling Nigeria’s commitment to maximizing its energy resources.

The recent meeting also delved into the broader context of oil exploration and climate concerns. Lokpobiri reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the Paris Agreement while emphasizing the importance of a balanced approach to energy production and transition.

He emphasized the need for strategic partnerships to facilitate the financing of Nigeria’s energy transition, highlighting the UAE’s potential role in this endeavor.

Responding to Nigeria’s call, Ambassador Al Shamsi expressed the UAE’s willingness to collaborate with Nigeria in addressing the challenges facing the oil and gas sector.

He affirmed the longstanding relationship between the two nations, spanning over 50 years, and reiterated the UAE’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s developmental aspirations.

As Nigeria embarks on its journey to modernize its oil infrastructure, partnerships with countries like the UAE are poised to play a pivotal role in realizing its energy ambitions.

The call for investment signals Nigeria’s proactive stance in addressing its infrastructural challenges while leveraging its rich energy resources for sustainable development.

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Nigeria Offers 12 Oil Blocks and 5 Deep Offshore Assets to Global Investors

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Oil

Nigeria has unveiled plans to offer 12 oil blocks and 5 deep offshore assets to global investors.

The announcement was made during the ongoing 2024 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, United States, where Nigerian officials presented the country’s vast hydrocarbon potential to an international audience of industry stakeholders.

Addressing participants at the African Oil Industry Opportunities Session, a side event at the OTC, Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, outlined Nigeria’s significant reserves and emphasized the strategic importance of leveraging these resources for economic development.

With over 37.5 billion barrels of crude oil and condensate reserves, as well as 209.26 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, Nigeria stands as a major player in Africa’s energy landscape.

Komolafe highlighted the government’s commitment to conducting a transparent and competitive bidding process, in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and applicable regulations.

The 2024 Licensing Round, he noted, marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s hydrocarbon development initiative, introducing 12 carefully selected blocks spanning diverse geological formations, from onshore basins to deep offshore territories.

Each block has been identified for its potential to enhance Nigeria’s reserves and stimulate economic growth, offering opportunities for investors to participate in the country’s oil and gas industry.

The bidding process, which commenced on April 29, 2024, is structured to ensure fairness, competitiveness, and transparency, with guidelines issued to guide prospective bidders.

In addition to the 12 blocks, Nigeria will also conclude the sale of seven deep offshore blocks from the 2022 Mini-Bid Round Exercise, covering approximately 6,700 km2 in water depths ranging from 1,150m to 3,100m.

This comprehensive offering underscores Nigeria’s commitment to maximizing the potential of its petroleum resources and attracting strategic investments to drive sectoral growth.

The bidding round, scheduled to conclude by January 2025, presents a significant opportunity for investors and companies to participate in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

The inclusion of both new greenfield blocks and assets from previous bid rounds reflects the government’s dedication to fostering innovation, technological exchange, and capacity building within the industry.

With criteria emphasizing technical competence, financial capacity, and viability, the 2024 licensing round aims to be conducted in a fair, competitive, and non-discriminatory manner, in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act.

As Nigeria positions itself as a prime destination for oil and gas investment, stakeholders are optimistic about the potential for sustainable growth and development in the sector.

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