Determined to reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian Capital Market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday urged beneficiaries of deceased investors to step up efforts to claim such dividends.
Mrs Mary Uduk, SEC Acting Director-General, said this in her welcome address at the enlightenment programme for Lagos State Probate Registry in Lagos.
Uduk, represented by the Acting Executive Commissioner Operations of the SEC, Mr Isyaku Tilde, said the purpose of the enlightenment programme was to give participants an understanding of the operations of the capital market.
She said that the programme was organised to enable participants understand transmission of shares and administration of estate, areas in which the Probate Registry was a key stakeholder.
Uduk said that one category of investors whose investment yields had contributed to the growth of unclaimed dividends were deceased investors.
According to her, beneficiaries of deceased investors as indicated in the Will or Letter of Administration are yet to claim the investments and accrued dividends through the share transmission process.
“The capital market is a market for raising medium to long-term capital via a number of instruments.
“The most popular of the instruments are shared including bonds with resultant yields of dividends and interests.
“However, the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market has been on the increase as investors fail to claim the dividends from their investment in shares,’’ she said.
Uduk also congratulated the Probate Registry on the recent commissioning of the e-filing probate registry, saying it would guarantee integrity of data, provide for online tracking of applications, simplify and shorten the application process of Letter of Administration and grants.
The director-general restated the readiness of the SEC to collaborate with the Probate Registry staff so that together the Nigerian Capital Market could become a desirable investment destination.
In a keynote address, Hon. Justice A. A. Oyebanji who represented the Chief Judge of Lagos State, commended the SEC on the enlightenment programme which she said would go a long way in aiding the staff of the probate registry on the discharge of their duties.
Oyebanji said the registry processed legal instruments for the administration of the real and personal estate of a deceased person who was resident in Lagos state and who owned landed properties in the state.
She said that the Probate Registry in Lagos state was now fully computerised and all applications must be made online.
“This e-Probate system was introduced primarily to ensure a more efficient delivery of services to elements of the public.
“It is aimed at reducing significantly the length of time required to obtain a Grant, whether in Ikeja, or the Lagos Division,” she added. (NAN)