SEC Tackles Fraud, Unclaimed Dividend

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has disclosed its plan to tackle fraud and the quantum of unclaimed dividends by shareholders in the capital market.

In a statement cited by BizWatch Nigeria, Director-General, SEC, Lamido Yuguda, who spoke during a meeting with the Management of Nigeria Data Protection Bureau in Abuja, said the commission would provide capital market participants with unique identifiers.

According to him, the unique identifiers were designed to reduce fraud and the quantum of unclaimed dividends.

Yuguda added that the identity management project already ongoing in the capital market was meant to ensure that every participant within the capital market has a unique identifier that would be given to them so that all capital market transactions would be secured and done on a Straight Through Processing basis, leaving very little human intervention in the processing of data.

The director-general said the commission decided to engage relevant stakeholders to resolve identity management issues to tackle the problem of unclaimed dividends.

“The bureau and the commission can collaborate to ensure that institutions under my supervision should comply with NDPR as we have a lot of leverage over the institutions that work in the capital market so, we can put more emphasis on compliance in our interaction,” the SEC DG was quoted as saying.

What you should know

Last year (2021), SEC revealed that unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian Capital Markets rose to N170 billion as of December 2020. This figure rose from N158.44 billion in total unclaimed dividends as of December 2019, citing issues related to poor identity management.

Meanwhile, reacting to the development, Commissioner, National Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr. Vincent OlatunjI commended SEC on its robust data policy and expressed the readiness of the Bureau to collaborate with the Commission.

His words: “The whole world is a global village, and we are constantly interacting over various issues. The sector had the highest contribution to our GDP last year, which speaks volumes. Over 104 million Nigerians go on the internet daily and now we are looking at digitizing everything.

“We are committed to ensuring the protection of the data of Nigerians and to ensure we have globally competitive businesses as most countries will not want to go into business with you if you do not have your data protection and a supervising authority in place.”

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