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SEC Reaffirms Readiness to Sensitise Investors on e-Dividend

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC said that it will continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to sensitise investors on the need to regularise their multiple accounts as well as claim their dividends.

The Acting Director General, Ms Mary Uduk who stated this during an interview in Abuja, at the weekend, said the Commission has taken various steps to ensure that shareholders benefit from their investments in the capital Market.

According to her, the volume of unclaimed dividend is still huge but the commission is doing a lot to bring it down.

The DG said, “Only recently, in our determination to reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian Capital Market and encourage beneficiaries of deceased investors to step up efforts to claim such dividends, the Commission exposed an amendment to our Rules which reduced the time, processes and costs of the transmission of shares from a deceased to the beneficiary.

“The timeline for the transmission of decreased’s shares has been reduced from three weeks to one week. Going by that, registrars shall ensure that shares of a deceased are transmitted within a week of receiving the request from the administrators or executors.

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This effort will ensure seamless transmission and claim of a deceased’s shares by heirs and administrators.

Uduk explained that the quest for investors to get the benefit of their investments that prompted the Commission to release a circular to shareholders of defunct Skye bank to claim all outstanding dividends.

She said sensitisation efforts are going on with other stakeholders to enlighten members of the public on the need to go and claim their shares through regularization of multiple accounts.

“If you cannot claim your shares, there is no way you will be talking about claiming  your dividends. One of the things the Commission has done is to encourage these people to come and regularize their accounts. As I speak about 2.6 million account holders have registered for e-dividend and many can testify that they are getting their dividends promptly” she said.

She also said the SEC has informed shareholders of the defunct Skye Bank that unclaimed dividends declared by the bank are being held in trust on their behalf and urged them to claim their dividends.

This, according to her, will further help reduce the volume of unclaimed dividends in the market and boost investor confidence.

Uduk said the Commission has also directed Cardinalstone Registrars and STL Trustees to ensure that all genuine claims of beneficiary shareholders are addressed forthwith.

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The Acting DG further said since the company is no longer in operation, these unclaimed dividends have to be made available to the rightful owners that are the shareholders, as that will go a long way in boosting investor confidence in the market.

“They invested in a company and since the company has gone under, there is no reason why they should not have access to their unclaimed dividends. That is why we are calling on them to take advantage of this opportunity and claim their dividends” Uduk stated.

She said the Commission has put in place a complaint management framework to ensure that investors get attended to promptly. “So, once you approach your registrars for your dividends to be paid and there is reason for complaints, you can always contact the Commission for the issue to be resolved” she added.

Business News

Naira Redesign Encourages Financial Inclusion, Electronic Transactions – CBN

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The naira redesign will encourage expanded financial inclusion and other forms of electronic transactions, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday.

CBN Director of Currency Operations, Ahmed Umar, stated this at the 2022 workshop for business editors and members of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Port Harcourt yesterday.

Umar, represented by Amina Halidu-Giwa, the Head, Policy Development Division, Currency Operation Department of the bank, said the redesign would encourage many un-banked people to be included in the financial system.

According to him, it will discourage excessive carrying of cash and encourage other electronic means of transactions.

He said that when the un-banked were fully captured in the financial system, it would help form adequate data for effective planning for greater economic growth.

“Naira redesign will also help in reducing cash management expenditures, give visibility and control and will help the bank to know the volume of money in circulation.

“It will also help in fighting counterfeiting and money laundering,” he said.

The director said that contrary to rumours that the CBN would print other denominations apart from the redesigned N1000, N500 and N200, no other denomination would be printed.

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Umar also said that the bank was not making money from the printing of the new notes contrary to insinuations.

He said that it was just a continuous process of printing money by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc, adding that no contract was given to outsiders for the printing.

Fielding questions on why the redesign was so simple, he said “we want to solve a problem and we have limited time to do that.

“Redesigning is about change of colour or size. The ink itself is a security feature,” he said.

Umar said that the redesign of the notes were long overdue noting that the N1000 notes had stayed for 17 years, N500 for 21 years and N200 for 22 years.

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Business News

NDIC Pays 443,949 Failed Banks Depositors N11.83bn

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), yesterday said it has paid a total of N11.83 billion to over 443,949 insured depositors and over N101.37 billion to uninsured depositors of all categories of banks as at June 2022.

Managing director of NDIC, Bello Hassan disclosed this at a workshop organized by the Corporation for financial journalists in Portharcourt yesterday.

The NDIC bank liquidation mandate entails reimbursement of insured and uninsured depositors, creditors, and shareholders of banks in liquidation.

“The liquidation activities, as of June 30, 2022, covered a total of 467 insured financial institutions in liquidation, comprising 49 Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), 367 Microfinance Banks (MFBs), and 51 Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) and out of the 49 DMBs in liquidation, the Corporation in September 2022 declared 100 per cent liquidation dividend in 20 of those institutions, meaning that the Corporation has realized enough funds from their assets to fully pay all depositors of the listed banks.

“As of June 30, 2022, the NDIC provided deposit insurance coverage to a total of 981 insured financial institutions.

“The breakdown includes 33 DMBs made up of 24, commercial banks, six Merchant Banks and three Non-Interest Banks (NIBs) plus two Non-Interest windows; 882 Microfinance Banks (MFBs); 34 Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs); three Payment Service Banks (PSBs) and 29 Mobile Money Operators,” he explained..

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Three papers were presented on the first day of the workshop namely, “Rising Ponzi Scheme and Investment Scam in Nigeria What We need to know; Understanding the role of premium contribution in an asante funding Deposit Insurance System; and The role of the media in addressing emerging issues in the banking industry”.

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Naira Redesign: Abuja ACCI Wants Deadline Extended

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The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the non-continuation of the use of the current currency notes.

The President of ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, made the appeal in a statement he issued on Tuesday, in Abuja in reaction to the recent announcement by the CBN on the redesigning of the country’s currency.

According to him, there have been various reactions from experts on the policy and while some experts agree with the CBN’s strategic objectives for the exercise, others differ.

“As a chamber, we recognise the advantages of this policy to include improvement in the integrity of the currency, curbing inflation, the efficiency of its supply and strengthening the strategy to conduct monetary policy, among others.

“However, we are not unaware of the cons of this policy on the national economy, specifically to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

“We would recommend to the apex bank to intensify public awareness campaign on the need for people and businesses to transit cash outside the banking system to the banks,’’ he said.

Abubakar explained that the sensitisation would allay the fears of Nigerians, deepen the buy-in of the citizenry and build national support for the implementation process.

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According to him, at the same time, the CBN should extend the deadline for the non-continuation of the use of the old currency notes.

“The chamber would also advise the CBN to provide financial and non-financial interventions (support) to cushion any likely negative impact this policy may have on businesses,’’ he said.

The president also said that the CBN, working with other stakeholders in the financial services eco space, needed to sustain and aggressively pursue and expand financial inclusiveness to cover unbanked segments of the society.

“This can be achieved through new procedures that match the peculiarities of the informal economy.

“The banking establishments also have a duty to harmonise bank charges associated with cash deposits,” Abubakar said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the CBN said that the redesigned Naira notes would be released by Dec. 15, adding that existing ones would cease to be regarded as legal tender by Jan. 31, 2023. (NAN)

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