Unclaimed dividend: Obong urges collaboration between operators, registrars




The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Africa Prudential Plc, Obong Idiong has said that collaboration between Registrars and Capital Market Operators would help to reduce the high cases of Unclaimed Dividends in Nigeria.

Idiong, made this statement at WebTV while providing views on addressing the tide of unclaimed dividends in Nigeria

He said that a market-led approach would reduce the number of shareholders facing challenges in claiming their dividends.

He decried that only two percent of investor accounts in Nigeria have complete Know-Your-Customer (KYC) details, which shows that a lot is still needed to resolve identity verification difficulties.

Idiong while acknowledging that incomplete KYC is a significant catalyst for the rising tide of unclaimed dividends, he observed that capital market operators must come together to address the matter.

On the E-Dividend Mandate Management System, e-DMMS, he stressed the need for synergy between the platforms of registrars in the market and that of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS). He believed that this would help in improving the turnaround time in documenting e-dividend mandates for shareholders.

He highlighted one of the significant areas of concern, the ‘Probates’, which needs drastic automation. He believed that the process needs to become more accessible for investors to apply and complete dividend claims without hitches.

The CEO of Africa Prudential Plc noted that the Institute of Capital Market Registrars is already exploring the possibilities of increasing automation in its activities.

He disclosed that despite the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, Africa Prudential Plc, as a boon from digitization, paid out N120bn dividends to investors in the capital market.