Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a plan to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for unclaimed dividends of more than 12 years. SEC estimates unclaimed dividends to be about N80 billion.
The plan is a volte face from recent position by SEC that the provision of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), which limits the lifespan of dividend, be amended to ensure shareholders or their beneficiaries could claim their dividend at any time.
In a circular sent to capital market stakeholders, the apex capital market regulator called for a consideration of a new rule that will set up the Nigerian Capital Market Development Fund (NCMDF) which will take custody of all unclaimed dividends of 12 years and above.
Under the extant laws, unclaimed dividends will remain available for collection by beneficiaries up till 12 years when they become statute-barred and subsequently return to the companies that paid the dividends.
The new rule seeks to change the return of the unclaimed dividends to companies that issued the dividends.