By Modupe Gbadeyanka
For regularly paying dividends to its shareholders in the last 36 years, Flour Mills of Nigeria has been named the ‘Best Dividend Paying Company’ of the year.
This recognition was given to the firm on Saturday in Lagos at the maiden edition of Dividend Payment Awards organized by Third Observers Nigeria Limited.
The Dividend Payment Award for Nigeria’s Listed Companies is endorsed by the Nigerian Capital Market (NCM) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Vice Chairman of Third Observer Nigeria Limited, Mr Sunday Nwosu, explained that the purpose of the award was to encourage more companies to pay dividends to their shareholders and also to improve investments in the stock market.
On his part, Chairman of the event, Prof Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), commended Flour Mills of Nigeria for always giving its shareholders something to smile about each year.
He urged Nigerians to invest more in the Nigerian stock market and said the nation can no longer rely on crude oil alone again.
The former university don also applauded organisers of the ceremony for finding it worthy to honour companies listed in the local bourse paying dividends to shareholders.
“We need to have more investors to invest in capital market; we can no longer depend on crude oil money again.
“I believe with more companies listed in stock market, we can turn around the fortune of our country and minimize our dependence on crude oil.
“I do appreciate what is happening in the capital market presently and it is an opportunity for investors to invest in it.
“I am using this opportunity to commend Third Observer for rewarding companies that are paying their shareholders dividends, this will encourage more companies to join the league,” he said.
Other winners were Total Nigeria Plc, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Berger Paints Nigeria Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in the Silver Award category.
The four companies were awarded silver for their consistency in paying dividends to their shareholders in the last 20 years.
For the Bronze Award, Access Bank Plc, Learn Africa Plc, AG Leventis Nigeria Plc and May and Baker Nigeria Plc were named for paying dividends to their shareholders for a minimum of 10 years.
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