Arunma Oteh, the director-general, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said on Wednesday that the unclaimed dividend in the nation’s bourse reached N60 billion in 2012.
Oteh, who disclosed this at the 2012 stock market review in Lagos, said that this was against N42 billion recorded in 2011.
She attributed the increase to challenges in the nation’s postal system and inability of investors to alert registrars of any change of name and addresses.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oteh said that the commission would do everything within its powers to ensure that the figure did not increase any longer.
She, however, called on investors to embrace the dematerialisation and electronic-dividend initiative to check the growth of unclaimed dividend.
The director-general added that the commission had made it compulsory for companies to declare profit before declaring dividend.
She said that the aim was to avoid a repeat of the past when dividends were declared without cash to back it up.
According to her, the commission has received a marching order from the new board to ensure a drastic reduction in the figure which was N8 billion in 2004.
On the market expectations in 2013, she added that the commission would concentrate on innovations and financial inclusion to increase local investors’ participation in the bourse.
Oteh added that SEC would work closely with the Federal Government to ensure listing of privatised government companies in the capital market.
She stressed that the capital market would witness further growth in 2013 with investment of part of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and introduction of securities lending and short selling.
Oteh reiterated that the two investments would increase the capital market liquidity.