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SEC Engaging Stakeholders On Unclaimed Dividends’ Identity Mgt Issues – DG

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday told the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions that the Commission was engaging relevant stakeholders in a bid to resolve issues of identity management relating to the rising unclaimed dividends in the capital market as well as other issues.

Identity theft is a fraudulent practice of using another person’s name and personal information to obtain shares, credit, loans among others.

The Director-General of the commission, Mr. Lamido Yuguda, made this disclosure during a presentation of the 2022 budget of the Commission before the lawmakers in Abuja.

According to him, the Commission has set up an identity management committee in addition to the e-dividend management committee, comprising representatives of the SEC, Registrars, Stockbrokers, Issuing Houses, the CSCS, and NSE, to harmonise various databases of investors and facilitate data accuracy in the market.

Yuguda said the committee’s recommendations would address the challenges of identity management and help tackle some of the issues of unclaimed dividends, direct cash settlement and multiple subscriptions.

He said: “We have engaged with the industry to see where the issues are. We have understood the problem better and we are working in collaboration with them to ensure that by the end of the first half of 2022 we will be able to report back to this committee some of the milestones achieved in solving some of these issues and we believe it will have a massive impact.”

The SEC boss further disclosed that the Commission was also working to combat challenges confronting the Commission on Information Technology, stressing that “we need to transform our IT infrastructure as we superintendent over a market that is vast and technology driven. The Steering committee has started work and we are already looking at the proposals”.

This is even as he told the lawmakers that  the commission had been collaborating with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to develop standards for commodities, adding that already  the capital market regulator  has held two workshops in Lagos and Kano to make the nation’s agricultural commodities acceptable the world over as well as create wealth for the country.

Yuguda also hinted that the commission recently approved the first electronic offer in the capital market for MTN.

He said: “Before now, we had rules on electronic offers which we developed but they are only being used now with the MTN offer. These are some of the achievements the Commission has been able to record recently.”

On funding, the SEC boss maintained that the commission had not been totally relying on the government for funding as it has been funding its operations, noting, however, that the downturn in the capital market due to the ongoing pandemic has adversely affected the revenue of the Commission.

He said “The budget of 2021 has been a huge departure from the past as we have worked on new sources of income and reduced our expenditures. With these efforts, we know that we will have a Commission that everyone will be proud of.”

In his remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Babangida Ibrahim, commended the Commission on its efforts so far and assured that the committee would continue to provide support where necessary to ensure that the nation has a vibrant capital market.

He said: “It is our responsibility to oversight the SEC and that is why we invited them here today to brief us on the performance of their 2021 budget, including the success and challenges they have faced in the year under review.

“We will continue to engage with the Commission to attain the progress we desire for our capital market”, the lawmaker assured.

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