The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that the deadline on forbearance on holders of multiple accounts in the capital market had been extended to December 31, 2019.
It explained that the extension of the deadline, which was part of the decisions reached at the end of the 3rd Capital Market Committee’s (CMC’s) meeting held in Lagos, was aimed at ensuring that more investors regularize their accounts thereby reducing the volume of unclaimed dividends.
The commission had earlier announced December 31st 2018 deadline for regularization of multiple accounts.
Briefing journalists on the decisions taken at the CMC meeting during an interactive session, the Acting Director General of the SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, explained that the committee considered the issue and decided it was the best option to give investors more time to regularise their multiple accounts in order to derive the benefits from their investments.
She expatiated “I am delighted to report that on the lingering issue of multiple subscriptions and forbearance for shareholders with multiple accounts, the CMC agreed that the forbearance window should be extended by another year from the December 31, 2018 deadline previously communicated.
“We expect investors to take advantage of this opportunity to claim their unclaimed dividends and bonuses”, Uduk added.
In addition, the industry expert announced a two-pronged approach to addressing the various challenges associated with transmission of shares related to the estate of deceased investors.
According to her, the first step will involve engagement with and enlightenment of the Probate Registry with a view to providing solutions to the cumbersome process of transmitting shares.
Secondly, Uduk hinted that rules would be developed around the time frame for transmission shares and the fee structure.
On identity theft menace in the investment market, the Acting DG said that the Commission would collaborate with other stakeholders in setting up a committee that will look into and proffer solutions to problems around identity management in the Nigerian capital market.
This is even as she hinted that the commission would begin to take enforcement actions against any person that engage in trading in the shares of public unlisted companies outside a recognised securities exchange as provided by the Rules as part of efforts to eliminate underhand dealings.
Speaking on the need to grow the market for trading in securities on unlisted public companies, Uduk said that the Commission was making concerted efforts in collaboration with CAC and other stakeholders to assist public companies that are yet to register their securities to do so without much difficulty.
She explained further: “In furtherance of the commitment to develop a vibrant Commodities eco-system, the Commission has commenced the implementation of measures to strengthen regulatory capacity by establishing a Commodities Division. Other recommendations of the Committee have been broken down into implementable plans with set timelines.
“An interesting development in the commodities sector is the innovative solution developed by AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited (AFEX) and its partners regarding the use of Blockchain Technology to streamline the process of financing agriculture to Smallholder farmers and other players in the commodities markets”, the SEC boss added.