Unclaimed dividend: Stakeholders call for caution

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Stakeholders in the insurance sector have cautioned the federal government on the issues of unclaimed dividends in the capital market emphasizing that such funds should rather be channelled into reinvestment for affected firms.

The concerned stakeholders argued that the government as regulators had no business in setting up a trust fund where those unclaimed dividends will be channelled because most of the key players are private entities.

Those who spoke to our correspondent noted alleged that government is mulling a trust fund, where it hopes to channel all dividends left unclaimed by investors.

They lamented the level of scepticism among citizens regarding insurance matters, insisting that it is one area where government should be more proactive, especially in strengthening enlightenment to help minimize risks associated with losses among the populace.

The views were expressed at the Annual General Meeting of Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc in Abuja where shareholders were informed that payment of claims by the company was at the threshold of over half a billion naira as of June 2022.

The company posted a profit after tax of N570, 363million for the 2021 fiscal year which ended December 31st.

National Chairman New Dimension Shareholder Association of Nigeria (NDSAN) Patrick Ajedua said “We talked about the unclaimed dividend because its money meant for investors in the capital market, as such government has no reason to lay claim, that money doesn’t belong to them by setting up a trust fund.

“We believe that unclaimed dividends

if not claimed should be sent back to the companies for reinvestment and a return back to the shareholders. So the government has no business claiming it, that money doesn’t belong to them”.

He explained that “For insurance business in Nigeria, the first key thing is trust and I said it, once trust can be guaranteed, the people know that if I pay premium my claims will be settled, I think people will patronize insurance business, awareness should also be strengthened so that the people will know the benefit to them, we have been having a building collapse in Nigeria, people die and there is no insurance on that, who is the ultimate loser, the regulators must ensure they create more awareness for insurance firms in Nigeria”.

MD/CEO of Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc, Kenneth Egbaran noted that there was the need for a robust enlightenment campaign.

Chairman of the firm, Nahim Abe’ Ibraheem who got re-elected unopposed by the shareholders explained that insurance firms were operating in a volatile economic environment, where most of the clients were left with options of either putting food on the table for their families or paying premiums.

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