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Shareholders to Access N100b Unclaimed Dividends

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  • Shareholders to Access N100b Unclaimed Dividends

Shareholders can now reclaim their unclaimed dividends within two days of providing their validated bank account to the company registrar.

Th value of unclaimed dividend is estimated to be in the region of N100 billion.

In a major move to tackle the menace of unclaimed dividends headlong, Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is reviewing new rules and guidelines to make it easier for shareholders to mandate their accounts for automated, electronic-dividend payment, while blocking loopholes being exploited to create unnecessary delay in the account-mandating process.

Under the new rules, registrars “shall ensure that all mandated shareholder accounts are credited with all outstanding unclaimed dividends within two days”, while Bank Verification Number (BVN) shall be acceptable in replacement for banker’s confirmation of signature.

Accordingly, where BVN is provided, banker’s confirmation shall not be required before shareholders’ accounts are mandated by the registrars, thus avoiding unnecessary delay in mandating shareholders’ accounts.

Registrars are also expected to submit a quarterly report on all mandated shareholders’ accounts to SEC in order to enable the Commission monitor the level of compliance with the e-Dividend Mandate Management System (eDMMS).

At the last count, there were more than 2.55 million mandated accounts under the eDMMS. However, there have been several complaints of registrars not remitting the backlog of unclaimed dividends and in many instances, shareholders have to launch a new separate recovery process to reclaim previous payments.

The new rules and amendments, SEC said, are part of efforts to increase the rate of compliance by registrars, reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends and avoid unnecessary delay in mandating shareholders’ accounts.

According to the rules, any registrar that violates the provisions of the new rules shall be liable to a penalty of not less than N1 million and an additional sum of N20, 000 for every day the violation persists.

SEC said it stipulates the penalty to serve as a deterrent to registrars who may possibly violate the rule.

Also, as part of efforts to ensure that shareholders and their heirs receive the benefit of their investments at the stock market, SEC is reviewing rules and regulations for the transfer of shares of a deceased person to the beneficiaries or administrators.

Under the new rules, registrar shall ensure that shares of a deceased are transmitted within three weeks of receiving the request from the administrators or executors. The executors or administrators shall however, provide letter of introduction from the administrators and executors, introducing themselves as the legal representatives of the estate. The letter should indicate the names, addresses, signatures and BVNs of the individual administrators and executors.

Also, administrators or executors shall provide original death certificate from the National Population Commission (NPC) for sighting, original probate letter or letter of administration for sighting or the certified true copy (CTC) from a Notary Public, copy of newspaper advert placed by the Court or Gazette, any evidence of ownership of the investment by the deceased such as the statement of shareholding from the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), original share certificates, dividend stub or dividend warrants or bank statement showing receipt of dividend into the account of the deceased.

Where the administrator or executor cannot provide the above requirements, the registrar may require confirmation through insurance, indemnity or interview.

SEC is also limiting the fees chargeable for transmission of shares by registrars to one per cent of the total value and additional five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) for shares of N5million and below and 0.5 per cent of the value and five per cent VAT on shares above N5million with a maximum chargeable amount of N200,000, excluding VAT. Also, fees chargeable for confirmation of probate or letter of administration shall not exceed N12,000.

Sources in the know at the weekend said the new rules will be part of discussions at a crucial meeting of capital market regulators and operators this week. The Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting, the first in 2019, is scheduled for Thursday in Lagos.

At the meeting, the CMC will consider reports from many of its technical committees and review the outlook for the Nigerian capital market in the light of emerging developments. During the meeting, issues bordering on implementation of the 10-year capital market master plan as well as others relating to the capital market and the economy would be discussed and the outcome made known to the media.

The CMC, chaired by SEC Director General, consists of chief executives of all registered capital market operators, including stockbrokers, solicitors, custodians, fund managers, issuing houses, rating agencies, registrars, reporting accountants, trustees and consultants among others. Other members include chief executives of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS); Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange (ASCE) and Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS).

The CMC also include two members each from observer groups, which include Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Debt Management Office (DMO), Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), National Insurance Commission (Naicom), National Pension Commission (Pencom) and FSS2020.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Banking Sector

FirstBank Holds Non-Oil Export Webinar Series, Creates Awareness of The Bank’s Export Solutions

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced the convening of its non-oil export webinar series. The Event is centered on deliberating opportunities that will enhance the country’s expansion of its drive towards diversifying the national economy, thereby reducing the reliance of oil as a mainstay of the country’s revenue.  

The first series of the virtual event is scheduled for 10am on Tuesday, 30th November 2021 via Zoom meeting. To register and be part of this transformational knowledge session, click on this link-https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/business/non-oil-export/ . Registration is Free!! 

The event is themed “Building Sustainable Non-Oil Export in Nigeria; Harnessing Opportunities within the AfCFTA Treaty & Agro Commodities” and will have the attendance of Mr. Segun Awolowo MD/CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC); Dr Biodun Adedipe, Founder and Chief Consultant of B. Adedipe Associates Limited (BAA Consult)  amongst others, as guest speakers.  

The webinar series aims to facilitate sustainable exports as well as guide participants on ways of navigating the hurdles and challenges of exports in Nigeria. The webinar will explore market and economic trends, unique export opportunities and potentials within the non-oil export industry across the geopolitical zones in the country.  

The importance of exports in Nigeria remains a front burner conversation by individuals and organisations as it provides a means of increasing the markets for producers, and an opportunity to attract the much needed foreign exchange earnings to boost the national economy, which is critical to expanding its Gross Domestic Products. 

Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said: “in recent years, the country has witnessed increased activities by the government towards diversifying the economy, thereby boosting the export potentials of the country – beyond the contribution of crude oil – which has been the mainstay of the national economy for many decades.  

Our forthcoming Non-oil Webinar series will expand discussions that are crucial to the growth of Nigeria’s export potentials as we unlock numerous opportunities that will promote the economic diversification drive of the government which is essential to the continued growth of the national economy, especially with the current business challenges posed by the pandemic.”

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Currency in Circulation Now N2.97 Trillion in October – CBN

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Currency in circulation hit N2.97 trillion in the month of October, according to the latest report from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The currency in circulation rose by N129 billion from N2.84 trillion recorded in the month of September to N2.97 trillion in October. This was after the currency in circulation declined from N2.8 trillion in July to N2.78 trillion in August.

Currency in circulation stood at N2.74 trillion in June, N2.79 trillion in May, N2.79 trillion in April, N2.8 trillion in March, N2.78 trillion in February and N2.83 trillion in January.

The CBN said, “The currency in circulation increased by N465.47bn or 19.06 per cent to N2.91tn in 2020, compared with N2.44tn in 2019.

“In 2020, there were higher withdrawals by DMBs than deposits, due to the panic need to hold cash to deal with the emergencies and reduced banking hours due to restrictions to curb spread of the pandemic.”

The bank said to maintain public confidence and ensure integrity of circulated notes in the economy, it developed and unveiled a clean note policy and banknote fitness guidelines in 2018.

The guidelines outlined details of quarterly and yearly activities towards the achievement of this objective.

The CBN said it employed the “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in the country.

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Banking Sector

2021 NCOY: FirstBank Partners Junior Achievement Nigeria, Reiterates Commitment to Innovation and Education

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For 11 years, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has partnered with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) to host its annual flagship event; the National Company of the Year competition (NCOY), which convenes winners of the JA Company Regional Competitions across Nigeria to compete for the National Company of the Year Award.

This year, the event will bring together outstanding ‘student business teams’ across Nigeria to compete for prizes and an opportunity to represent the country at the national competition – JA African Company of the Year Competition (ACOY). The 2021 edition of the NCOY competition will be held virtually via Zoom meetings at 10am on Saturday, 27th November 2021.  Interested participants are to register via the link https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEtd-qvqz4pE90NXOHcy-tve6aEXpY_yYAE

The competition themed ‘Innovation with Grit’ will have 12 teams from 12 schools pitch their innovations to a team of 5 guests judges. The represented schools at the competition include: The Seer company from Alvana High School; Sonic Informatics company from Heritage Global Academy; Nexus Queens company from Queens School; JA Stars from Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN); Amazing Amazon Students from Government Girls’ Secondary School, Abaji; KereTerra Company from Secondary School Etoi, Uyo and The Exploit thinkers from Taidob College.

Other teams competing include: Mystic Global Company from Rosa Mystica High School, Agulu;  PetraMech Tech from Petra Schools; The Amazing Inventors from Government Secondary School Tudun Wada; Blue crystal company from Methodist Girls school and the Artisans from Igbobi College.

Judges at the event include: Oludolapo Adigun, Group Head, Retail Banking Lagos & West First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Chidimma Juliana Okparah, Project Management Consultant (PMIEF); Sheila Ojei, Head of Communications Jobberman;  Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative and Simbo Olatoregun, Policy Programs Manager for Facebook in Africa. In attendance also is the Honourable Commissioner for Education Lagos State, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo as a Special Guest.

The 2021 National Company of the Year Program will also feature SPARK Competition. SPARK as an initiative of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, is an acronym for Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness. SPARK reiterates the Bank’s commitment to institutionalise kindness in Nigeria by encouraging and amplifying a culture of kindness.

The SPARK competition will feature 15 finalist schools across Nigeria, whose CSR projects align with the Bank’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability pillars of Education, Welfare and Health, Financial inclusion and Responsible Lending and Procurement.

Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said “FirstBank’s partnership under its Future First initiative with JA Nigeria Company programme has positively impacted over 100,000 people in different locations across the country in preparing and teaching them how to generate wealth, effectively manage it and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Our commitment to fostering entrepreneurial development amongst youths is mainly the driving force behind our support of the National Company of the Year (NCOY) and Africa Company of the Year (ACOY) competitions in past 11 years”.

According to the Executive Director, JAN, ‘’the National Company of the Year Company competition provides our students with a platform to show how innovative they are while displaying their dexterity and grit especially as it relates to creating sustainable business solutions to problems in their immediate community. The students have learned critical skills during the implementation of the Company Programme and we are proud to celebrate them as they compete in the National competition. I would like to specially appreciate FirstBank Nigeria for their continued support and belief in the boundless potential of young Nigerians’’.

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