Air Liquide Dematerialises Share Certificates to Boost Trading
Goddy Egene
Air Liquide Nigeria Plc, a company being traded on the NASD OTC Securities Exchange is dematerialising its share certificates. The dematerialisation is being done in collaboration with the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc.  In a notification to market operators and shareholders at the weekend, NASD urged stockbroking firms, who have shareholders of Air Liquide Plc   clients to visit the secretary of the company to for the dematerialisation.
Already shareholders of companies traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) have already been enjoying  dematerialisation, which is  the process of converting share certificates into electronic format.
The General Manager, Operations, CSCS, Mr. Joe Mekiluwa recently said over 98.4 per cent of  share certificates of quoted companies on the NSE have been  dematerialised in the CSCS depository.
According to him, the CSCS is working assiduously with registrars to ensure that full dematerialisation is achieved as targeted.
“Efforts are geared towards assisting the relevant registrars to ensure that the remaining, although seemingly infinitesimal, are firmly attended to so as to achieve 100 per cent success rate before the end of this year 2016,” he said.
He explained that in order to address various problems associated with share certificates such as delay in issuance, verification, loss, theft, and forgeries, among others, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in partnership with other stakeholders, resolved to eliminate these problems by opting for the full dematerialisation of share certificates.
“The full dematerialisation move is aimed at completely eliminating existing physical share certificates in the Nigerian capital market and putting to an end the issuance of new share certificates. The registrars of companies, who are involved in the implementation process, are required by SEC to turn in the registers of all companies they manage to the CSCS depository within a given period of time. For the shares to be accessed by the shareholders in their accounts under a stockbroking firms, shareholders are required to instruct their registrars, through their brokers, to migrate such shares to their accounts with the stockbroking firms,” he said.
Mekiluwa urged shareholders to approach the stockbroking firms of choice, obtain and fill in a migration form which will be forwarded to the registrar to enable them to advise the CSCS to migrate the shares to the shareholder’s account with the stockbroking firm and the shares are migrated by the CSCS as advised.
He said that apart from reducing  the incidences of forgery, theft and loss of share certificates, dematerialisation would  also bring other benefits such as immediate availability of the shares for trading as soon as mandate is given to the brokers.