In a bid to further reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has urged beneficiaries of deceased investors to step up efforts to claim such dividends.
This was stated by the Acting Director General of the SEC, Ms Mary Uduk in her welcome remarks at The enlightenment programme for Lagos State Probate Registry on Tuesday in Lagos.
Uduk who was represented by Acting Executive Commissioner Operations of the SEC, Mr. Isyaku Tilde, said the purpose of the enlightenment programme is to give participants an understanding of the operations of the capital market, especially in the area concerning transmission of shares and administration of estate, areas in which the Probate Registry is a key stakeholder.
Uduk stated that one category of investors whose investment yields have contributed to the growth of unclaimed dividends are deceased investors, whose beneficiaries as indicated in the will or letter of administration are yet to claim the investments and accrued dividends through the share transmission process.
According to her, “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 and bonds with resultant yields of dividends and interests respectively.
“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.
Uduk also congratulated the Probate Registry on the recent commissioning of the e-filing probate registry saying it will guarantee integrity of data, provide for online tracking of applications, simplify and shorten the application process of Letter of Administration and grants.
She therefore restated the readiness of the SEC to collaborate with the Probate Registry staff so that together the Nigerian capital market can 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 enlightens programme which she said will 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 Lagos state.
She said that the Probate Registry in Lagos state is 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, wether in the Ikeja of the Lagos Division” she added.