• Says forensic audit on Oando will go on this month
Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said investors who bought shares of the same company using different names during public offers have an extended deadline of March 31, 2018, to consolidate their multiple subscriptions into a single account and equally regularise their shareholding.

SEC’s acting Director General, Mr. Abdul Zubair, disclosed this at a briefing in Abuja yesterday.
He said all shares which are not regularised at the expiration of the date would be transferred to the Capital Market Development Fund on trust.

Zubair, also said the free registration for e-dividend enrolment had ended on December 31, 2017, and that from January 1, 2018, enrolment for e-dividend will attract a charge of N150 per mandate.
“With a view to encouraging many more investors to consolidate their multiple subscriptions into one account, the SEC wishes to announce an extension of the forbearance for multiple accounts till March 31, 2018.

“Accordingly, investors that bought shares of the same company during public offers, using different names, are allowed till March 31, 2018, to continue to approach their stockbrokers or registrars, to regularise their shareholdings, in line with SEC rules on customer identification. Thereafter, all shares not regularised shall be transferred, on trust, to the Capital Market Development Fund,” Zubair said.

On the e-dividend programme which has seen about 2.1 million enrolments, Zubair stated that “All investors that are yet to enroll are enjoined to continue with the registration exercise a marginal cost of N150 only.”
“Such investors should continue to approach their banks or registrars, as usual, to seamlessly mandate their bank accounts for the collection of their dividends electronically, including unclaimed dividends, not exceeding 12 years of issue, as the N150 would not be demanded from them at the point of registration.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the N150 fee would not be demanded from investors at the point of registration and/or submission of completed e-Dividend Mandate Forms,” he explained further.
Zubair also noted that in line with approved rules of the commission, “all registrars have been directed to stop the issuance of dividend paper warrants with effect from January 1, 2018.

“For the avoidance of doubt, all paper dividend warrants issued up till December 31, 2017 are valid and should be honoured. Banks and registrars are accordingly implored to please note and adhere,” he added.
Responding to questions from journalists, Zubair, insisted that the commission order to conduct a forensic audit on indigenous oil firm, Oando Oil Plc, would go ahead this month.

He said the audit was held up due to legal challenges that have now been removed.
“SEC as a lawabiding corporate entity, has been a little bit careful. We gave directives that the audit should go on and we still stand by that. There is no going back on the forensic audit.
“But we had a little challenge down the line because the matter went to court, and as responsible citizens, we had to wait but now that the court has ruled, the auditors have sent out words that they will continue the audit this January. As far as we are concerned there is no going back,” he stated.

Further on the e-dividend fee, Director of External Relations of SEC, Mr. Henry Rowlands, said beginning from January 1, 2018, SEC would no longer underwrite the N150 processing fee for enrolment for e-dividend payments.
He, however, explained that investors would not be charged at the point of registration but at the point of submission of the form at the bank when the application has been approved and form uploaded.