By Nkiruka Nnorom
THE Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, yesterday disclosed that the initial interest shown by investors toward e-dividend initiative seems to be waning as the level of registration has dropped in the last three months.
Speaking at the fourth quarter post Capital Market Committee, CMC, media briefing in Lagos, the Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, said that only about 147,176 registrations were recorded in the last three months between August and October 2017.
He, however, said that despite the low registration, the December 31 deadline set by the Commission for stoppage of underwriting cost for e-dividend still stands; saying that at the end of the date, investors that have not keyed into the e-dividend registration should be prepared to pay the N150 fee.
“We realize that there is a slow pace in terms of the implementation of the e-dividend. In the last three to four months, there has not been appreciable increase in terms of number of people registering. By 31st of December, 2017, any Nigerian that does not register for e-dividend will now have to pay N150 for registration.
“We have been pursuing this initiative since last year and SEC has been underwriting this cost. The moment you start extending, people will think that they have 100 years to do it. I don’t think we should keep on extending it, we want to keep our word on that 31st December, whoever that does not register should be able to pay the amount stipulated. “We expect that in the next two to three months, we will see a significant improvement in enrolment. To be able to leverage on the support from the technical committee, SEC has also been in the vanguard of enlightening the public about the e-dividend and this is to ensure that Nigerians benefit from the free registration exercise.”
Also speaking, Head, Vertical Markets, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, NIBSS, Samuel Oluyemi, revealed that 37,153 registrations were recorded last month, adding that there is need for more registrations to ensure the continued growth of the capital market.
“In August, what we were able to get was 50,819 people who registered. In September, we got 59,204 registrations and in October 2017 we got 37,153 registrations. This shows that there is a dip in the month of October.
“If we continue to have this dip, it will be indicative that people don’t trust the system. So, there is need to increase awareness that the e-dividend exercise will close at the end of December and there is no way we will have the much needed jump that the government expects in the GDP except all of us work together as one.”
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