In the 1990s and 2000s, hundreds of Nigerians bought shares, unfortunately, most of them never followed up on how to receive their dividends, they bought stocks and walked away, the abandonment is called an unclaimed dividend.
The name of the company and person used in this guide is imaginary any coincidence is highly regretted.
And on August 13, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) raised alarm over the rising figure of unclaimed dividends as of December 2020, stating that unclaimed dividends in Nigeria (capital market) stood at N170 billion against N158.44 billion in December 2019. The figure by the SEC shows that the figure will keep rising.
If your dividend is included in the list, we will guide you on how to calculate unclaimed dividend if it’s up to 10 years, 20 years or more. There is a way around it if the company that allot share was acquired by another entity.
What is an Unclaimed Dividend?
When dividends are paid by a company to their shareholders, but the shareholder (investor) failed to claim it, it becomes an unclaimed dividend. Usually, a separate account is created for an unclaimed dividend which is properly monitored by the SEC (if it’s in Nigeria).
Note: Dividends are profits that a company distributes to its investors (shareholders) when profits are declared at the end of a financial year.
Difference Between Unclaimed Dividend and Unpaid Dividend
There is a clear distinction between a dividend that wasn’t claimed by a shareholder and an unpaid dividend. An unpaid dividend occurs when a company declared profit and dividend but it’s yet to distribute the dividend to its shareholders whereas an unclaimed dividend occurs when the shareholders abandon the dividend accrued to them
How do I know the total dividend I’m yet to claim?
To perfectly understand how to calculate unclaimed dividends, let’s use a case study:
Mr Smith bought 5,000 units of MSL Foods Shares in 2010. MSL Foods declared dividends every year and distribute it to its shareholders. But Smith’s dividend remains unclaimed because he doesn’t have enough information. After his research, he realises that he has 10 years of unclaimed dividends.
To know how much dividend Mr Smith should receive from 2010 to 2019, he needs to multiply the number of shares held (5,000) by the dividend per share declared by MSL Foods
Assuming the company paid NGN2.60 per unit to its shareholders in 2010, that’s 5,000 X NGN2.60. Do the same for each year then sum them all up and talk to your stockbroker to fill an e-dividend mandate form
|Year||Number of Units||Dividend Declared (NGN)||Amount Payable (NGN)|
Why do unclaimed dividends keep rising in Nigeria?
According to the SEC boss while speaking at the second post-Capital Market Committee, reveals three major reasons. They include:
- Multiple subscriptions
- False names
- Identity management
One of the reasons for the rising number is attributed to multiple subscriptions of investors. This is a situation whereby an investor creates multiple subscriptions for themselves to more than one product or different product of the same product.
This happens when those who accumulated wealth through dubious means use names of family members and their relatives to buy shares.
In the past, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has had to investigate several cases of money laundering and detailed how corrupt senior servants opened several bank accounts to launder money, the case of former Pension Reform Task Team chairman, Abdulrasheed Maina is a typical example.
On the issue of the unclaimed dividends, the SEC boss was quoted as saying,
“There is a problem with us too as people because if you are buying securities using your own wealth; why will you use another person’s name, why will you use a name that will not be traceable to you?
The rising figure to identity management is another issue raised by SEC, saying problems with identity management in the Nigerian capital market is another challenge the commission, which is one of the agencies of the Federal Ministry of Finance, is trying to solve
He said: “We have set up a high-powered committee to look at the issue, people bought shares under false names and multiple subscriptions.
Why would an investor abandon his dividends?
One question that everyone might want to ask is why would someone who legitimately bought shares abandon to claim his dividends?
Answering this question, the SEC boss revealed the figure of unclaimed dividends started rising since the introduction of the Bank Verification Number (BVN). BVN is tied to only one name
How To Redeem An Unclaimed Dividend on in 4 Easy Steps
So, you’ve calculated your unclaimed dividend after gathering enough information about the company, it’s time to begin the retrieval process, thankfully the Security and Exchange Commission has a designated portal called U-eDIV Search Portal.
What is U-eDIV Search?
The U-eDIV Search is a portal designed and managed by the SEC to enable buyers of shares to register for the collection of their unclaimed dividends and subsequent payment of dividends electronically and to process their proceeds from their secondary market transactions to be credited to their preferred Bank Account known as Direct Cash Settlement.
“The Commission also wishes to remind the investing public on the deadline of 28th February 2018 which will mark the end of issuance of physical dividend warrant, with a view to mitigating the risks associated with physical dividend warrants and improving investors experience”.
As such, a service charge may apply to process your e-Dividend by your stockbroker. Begin the process of claiming an unclaimed divided by following the step by step guide below:
1) Head straight to SEC U-eDIV Search Portal at: http://sec.gov.ng/non-mandated/
2) Do a search using the combination of your first name and last name on the portal
3) If your name corresponds with the company where you bought the share and the name of the registrars, download the e-Mandate form
4) Download and fill out Your Registrars Form
5) Send the correctly filled form to your registrar electronically to start receiving dividends.
Note the name of the company where you bought the shares and Registrars because there may be similarities in names
If you’ve abandoned your dividend it’s called an unclaimed dividend. The ball lies in your court, to calculate this, simply multiply the number of shares held by the dividend per share declared every year.
You need to know the company and the registrars from which you bought shares to begin the process of redeeming your dividend
E-Mandate form is a prerequisite to begin the process of getting your dividend electronically.
- By SEC