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SEC Expresses Worry over Low e-Dividend Enrolment

**Says December Deadline Intact

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Mounir Gwarzo, has expressed dissatisfaction with the low level of enrolment for the ongoing e-dividend exercise.

Addressing capital market correspondents last Friday, Mr Gwarzo said the level of compliance has dropped lately.

Business Post reports that in August, a total of 50,819 investors registered for the e-dividend, while it increased to 59,204 in September, but dropped to 37,153 last month.

The SEC boss said that the capital market regulator will not extend the December 31, 2017 deadline for the registration despite pleas by stakeholders for an extension.

According to him, SEC has been underwriting the cost of the e-dividend and from next year, investors will have to pay N150 for the exercise.

“We realised that there is a slow pace in terms of the implementation of the e-dividend as in the last three-four months, there has not been appreciable increase in terms of number of people registering.

“By December 31, 2017, any Nigerian that does not register for e-dividend will now have to pay N150 for registration.

“We have been pursuing this initiative since last year and SEC has been underwriting the cost. The moment you start extending, people will think they have 100 years to do it.

“I don’t think we should keep on extending it, we want to keep our word on that December 31. Whoever that does not register should be able to pay the amount stipulated,” Mr Gwarzo disclosed.

He added that, “We expect that in the next two-three months, we will see a significant improvement in enrolment.

“To be able to leverage the support from the technical committee, SEC has also been in the vanguard of enlightening the public about the e-dividend and this is to ensure that Nigerians benefit from the free registration exercise.”

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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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