Unclaimed dividends by Nigerians rise to N180 billion - SEC
SEC building

Lamido Yuguda, director general of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), has said that unclaimed dividends by Nigerians rose to N180 billion as of December 31, 2021.

He disclosed at an interactive session with editors on Tuesday, noting that the commission is working to ensure it reduces the level of unclaimed dividends to zero per cent.

“This continues to be an important area of concern for the commission and we have been engaged in tackling it in the capital market,” noted the SEC director-general.

Although N180 billion unclaimed dividends is a huge amount of funds, Mr Yuguda said the amount constituted only five per cent of the quantum of dividends declared in the capital market.

“That is a large amount. But when you compare that with the total amount of dividends declared in the Nigerian capital market, these unclaimed dividends amount to about five per cent of the total amount of dividends declared,” Mr Yuguda pointed out. “Although, five per cent is still not the ideal number, it should be zero per cent. Every person, who has come to the capital market and invested money, should be able to get his dividends as and when due.”

According to him, the SEC is working with the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) and other stakeholders in the industry to address the issue of unclaimed dividends.

“The SEC has been working with CSCS, registrars and the stockbrokers to make sure that every market appraisal makes it easy for the clients to fill their mandate form. We are also making sure that investors continue to get their dividends,” Mr Yuguda explained.

The SEC chief mentioned that the federal government intervened last year by enacting a finance act on unclaimed dividends’ funds.

“The government is looking at unclaimed monies both in the capital market and the banking system and established a fund that will actually access through dividends that have been unclaimed for a certain number of years that meet certain basic definitions,” Mr Yuguda explained.

He added, “It is not that the government has taken over the money, but when the claimants eventually surface, there is a system for recovering. Every person who has come to the capital market and invested money should be able to get his dividends as and when due.”



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