Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has solicited the partnership of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in its campaign to restore the confidence of retail investors in the stock market.
The Director General of SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo made the call when he visited the Managing Director of NAN, Mr. Bayo Onanuga on Friday in Abuja.
“What we are also doing is to make sure that we bring back the retail investors into the market because they are the backbone of the market.
“And one of the reasons why we want to partner with you is so you will help us in propagating the need for people to hook up to the e-dividend mandate.
“ So that people will be better enlightened, people will be informed that they could go to their banks, collect the forms and fill it so that we will reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends,’’ Gwarzo said.
He said that challenges such as change of addresses, cost of getting the dividends and the system that allowed investors buy shares in different names which was illegal, brought unclaimed dividends up to N80 billion.
Gwarzo explained that some of the initiatives currently being pursued by SEC were targeted at the retail investors to encourage them and restore their confidence in the capital market.
“A retail investor will tell you he has been investing in the last 10 years without getting his dividend, so the only way you can get your dividend is to hook on to the electronic system.
“Once you do that and the dividend is declared, it would be paid into your account,” he said.
He said that the e-dividend platform would ensure that when investor’s shares were sold, the proceeds of the sale would not be paid into the broker account, but directly into the client’s account.
Gwarzo said that some of the challenges faced were that of the retail investors complaining without doing anything about it.
He said that today, SEC had now provided a platform where most of these complaints could be resolved and eliminated through e-dividend registration.
The Director-General said that the SEC had also set up the National Investment Protection Fund, which ensured that investors do not lose all their money in cases of infractions.
The Managing Director of NAN pledged to support SEC in its campaign on e-dividend registration in the country.
Onanuga said, “The agency is the biggest news agency in the South Sahara and although it is government owned, it is the largest content provider for all Nigerians.’’
He said that NAN was the best channel for SEC in its campaign as the agency has all the radio stations, television stations, newspaper houses, online media and even bloggers as its subscribers.
“They all depend on the news that we produce,’’ Onanuga said.
Onanuga said that NAN was a government agency as SEC, so it was important to strengthen the relationship of both organisations.
He said that NAN was also embarking on similar outreach programmes to other government agencies to ensure that they worked in synergy.
He commended the SEC Director General in the steps he had been taking to grow the capital market. NAN

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