By Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Munir Gwarzo, has said that only 8000 Nigerians have registered in the e-dividend platform since the campaign was launched last year.
The DG of the capital market regulator, made the disclosure over the weekend in a radio programme monitored in Abuja.
He expressed his disappointment over the low patronage by investors to key into the platform. He said: “They should keep faith as they should come back to the market and more importantly, they should key into the e-dividend platform.
“The level of patronage in the e-dividend is very low, as at the last count, only 8000 Nigerians have registered for the e-dividend.”
While admitting that investors are shying away from investing in the capital market perhaps because of the economic downturn, he urged them not to lose hope and faith as the market will certainly bounce back into profitability.
He said: “My advice is to say, yes, Nigerians have lost money, houses and cars due to investment in the capital market.
“We shouldn’t lose hope, SEC is there, they may not see the result today. I can assure investors that in the next few years, they will see the result of their investment in the market.”
On the low level of patronage of the e-dividend platform, he said: “My expectation as at last year was that we should have recorded almost one million Nigerians.
“The initiative that we are pursuing now is for the investors, and if you look at the unclaimed dividend that we have today in the country, it has risen to almost N80 billion.” he said.
Asked on why the figure for unclaimed dividend is on the high side, he said, this came about because investors think the dividends usually comes in small bits and therefore they tend to push it aside.
He stressed further: “It is this small dividends that has accumulated to that N80billion and secondly investors buy shares with different names which in itself is an offence, which at the end of the day becomes difficult to claim.”
The DG advised Nigerians to keep faith adding that this is the best time to invest in the market now that it is down, adding that with the initiatives that we are pursuing certainly the market will soon be better.
Gwarzo, however advised prospective investors to carry out thoroughly analyses of companies before investing in them.