THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has disclosed that the value of unclaimed dividends has risen to N170bn.
The Director General of SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda, said the value grew from N158bn in 2018 to N170bn.
Yuguda blamed the increment on the introduction of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) which is meant to link actual names to bank accounts.
He disclosed that investors had in the past bought company shares with fake names which made it difficult for them to claim their dividends using their real names.
He said, “The truth of the matter is that we have problem of identity management in the Nigerian capital market and this is one of the things the commission has been trying to resolve. We have set up a high-powered committee to look at this.
“There are people who have bought shares under false names before. That is what we call the multi-subscription problem. The thing is yes, there is a problem with the process and also there a problem with us as a people.
“If you are buying securities using your own wealth why would use another person’s name? Why would you use a name that may not be traceable to you? And most of these things really became an issue after the introduction of BVN, because BVN is tied only to one name. So should you have any other name than you are using before, those accounts cannot be accepted by your bankers.”
The DG expressed worry over the amount of funds lost to Ponzi scheme operators, warning Nigerians to stay away from any scheme that promises unusual return on investment.
The DG noted that “many of the Ponzi operators once they give these mouth watering promises they entice so many gullible investors and in the end monies are actually lost and these investors actually flock to our offices to complain but they should actually just check our website, two minutes is enough, to ascertain whether this investment fund is actually registered with the commission.”
On the outcome of the CMC meeting, he noted that the SEC had observed some level of improvement in the economy coming from the recovery in crude oil prices, a slow but downward trend in inflation rate, a moderate but positive economic growth in Q1’2021, with a higher growth expectation for Q2’2021.
According to him, efforts are ongoing to ensure a stable exchange rate in the country.
Yuguda said market performance had been mixed, driven largely by domestic and global economic factors, the impact and responses to the pandemic and the regulatory environment.
He said, “In line with our mandate, the Commission has been working on some initiatives that we believe would put the market on the path to recovery.
“The Commission recently issued a circular to the public on the commencement of its Regulatory incubation process.”
The DG stated that the commission had registered Fintech Capital Market Operators, which include a digital fund portfolio manager and a digital sub-broker.
“We look forward to registering more Fintech players in our market,” he said.