What is Dividend?
Dividend is the portion of profits paid out by a company to shareholders usually on an annual basis. If you have ever bought shares in the past, or any of your relatives have bought shares in any company, you are most likely to have outstanding dividends that have not been claimed.
The 2020 Finance Act which came into effect in 2021 mandates that:
“Any unclaimed dividend of a public limited liability company quoted on Nigeria Stock Exchange and any unutilized amount in a dormant bank account maintained in or by a deposit money bank which has remained unclaimed or unutilized for a period of less than six years from the date of declaring the dividend or domiciling the funds in a bank account shall be transferred immediately to the Unclaimed FundsTrust Fund.
It was argued that the value of the unclaimed dividend estimated at ₦117 billion had reduced significantly with the application of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) law on unclaimed dividends.
Last month, the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda disclosed that SEC and the Debt Managment Office (DMO) were managing the trust fund. Unclaimed dividends would be released to the owner or beneficiaries with appropriate documents proving ownership.
Therefore, this article will address how you can claim your unpaid dividends.
Step 1: Apply on the SEC e-Dividend portal
Log on to the SEC e-Dividend portal at https://sec.gov.ng/non-mandated/
Step 2: Search for a list of your company shares
To check if you have outstanding dividends, enter your first name and last name as indicated on the portal, and tap “search.” You can also do this for a family member.
Step 3: Confirm your names
At this stage, the system will return search results showing your account number, all the companies where you hold shares as well as the name of the registrars for each company. A registrar is the company that keeps details of your shares/shareholdings.
You could have several names with close resemblance to yours, so ensure you check the correct middle name that belongs to you or anyone you are assisting.
Step 4: Download and fill your e-Dividends Mandate form
On the Registrar’s Name column, click on the blue-coloured registrar name to download your Registrar’s e-Dividend Mandate form(s).
Fill the respective Registrar’s e-mandate forms with all the required information including your bank name, BVN, bank account number and other personal data. Print out the completed form when you are done.
Step 5: Lastly, submit completed forms to claim dividend
Submit completed e-Dividend mandate form at the nearest bank of your branch or Registrar to register for the collection of your unclaimed dividends and subsequent dividends electronically.
Your account will be credited with your unclaimed dividend when done.
Source: Security Exchange Commission Website