DG, SEC, Ms Arunma Oteh
The cost funding the biometrics data collection of shareholders and nationwide enlightenment campaign may delay the implementation of the shares certificate dematerialisation programme, THISDAY checks have revealed.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had set January 2013 as deadline for all shares to be dematerialised.
Dematerialisation is the conversion of share certificate from paper form into electronic form domiciled with the Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS).
A Dematerialisation Committee set by the apex regulator has been working to meet the January 2013 target. The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Emeka Madubuike, disclosed last month that everything was on course, noting that the next stage was biometrics capturing of shareholders’ data and enlightenment.
However, THISDAY checks revealed that the cost of embarking on the biometrics data collection so huge that the management of the CSCS may not be able to fund it for now.
“Getting the biometrics data would involve huge cost and it will take some time to get such funding from only the CSCS. Besides, the enlightenment campaign to sensitise shareholders would also require significant funding. These issues may delay the implementation of the programme,” a market source said.
Meanwhile, responding to THISDAY’s enquiries last Monday, Madubuike said the committee was working with the board and management of CSCS on how to deliver on its mandate.
“The committee is working with Board of CSCS, through the managing director to make sure we deliver on target. We have designed a form that shareholders will fill and that will make the process easier,” he said.
He said there would be a major enlightenment programme to sensitise shareholders about the programme, noting that the security issues in the country has been a major challenge.
“The security issue in some parts of the country has been the major challenge why the Committee has not been able to arrange the enlightenment programme. So now, we are planning to reshuffle the places where we can carry out the enlightenment programme. Once that is done, we will then inform the Commission.”
The Director-General of SEC, Ms Arunma Oteh, had given indication that the January 2013 deadline may be postponed if adequate enlightenment was not carried out.
“Once the committee on dematerialisation has finished its enlightenment programme, we may now set a new date. Though, any person who wants to hold physical share certificate to show as evidence of ownership is free to do so, but for those who want to play the market on daily basis, dematerialisation is necessary and a must for them to allow for easy transfer and settlement of transaction,” she said.