How To Setup CSCS Account in Nigeria

Last updated on August 26th, 2022 at 03:17 pm


Sometimes ago, one of the most trending topics in Nigeria’s political landscape was the plan of the Federal Government to borrow unclaimed dividends and monies in dormant bank accounts. Can you stop the FG from taking that action? Definitely NO! Because the FG is invoking the Finance Act 2020. While you think about your shares in banks, you can also consider an investment in a corporate bond.

In the later part of this guide, you’d also see how to get Clearing House Number (CHN) if you plan to be one of the hundreds of telecom shareholders, you can buy MTN Shares on PrimaryOffer App, the app even makes it easier for investors to get CSCS number and CHN.


But you can take a step right now to withdraw your unclaimed dividends. That’s the only way to prevent the government from withdrawing funds in your investment portfolio.

What does the Finance Act say regarding Unclaimed Dividends?

Under Part XII of the Act, it’s clearly stated that dividends were special debts due to and recoverable by shareholders within 12 years, and actionable only when declared.
The Act also says dividends that were unclaimed after 12 years should be included in the profits that should be distributed to the other shareholders of the company.

The Act says:

“Such unclaimed dividends transferred to the Unclaimed Funds Trust Fund shall be a special debt owed by the Federal Government to the shareholders and shall be available for claim by the shareholder at any time, pursuant to the aforementioned perpetual trust”

SERAP Says It’s Illegal To Borrow Unclaimed Dividends

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) described as illegal, the plan of the Buhari-led government to borrow unclaimed dividends and funds in dormant accounts.

The group’s deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said:

“Borrowing unclaimed dividends and funds in dormant accounts amount to an illegal expropriation, and would hurt poor and vulnerable Nigerians who continue to suffer under reduced public services and ultimately lead to unsustainable levels of public debt.”

So, let’s get started!

If you’ve heard stocks professional mention CSCS account and you’re wondering what the hell it means, don’t worry we’ll guide you on how to trade stocks with it and how to use this account to check your shares online in real-time.

You can also use CSCS account to get back unclaimed dividends in an easy-to-follow process.

CSCS account stock market

In case you need a professional to handle your investment for you, we already have a list of Nigerian stockbrokers who can professionally guide you on how to go about trading stocks and how to get back unclaimed dividends through the Central Securities Clearing System.

So, let’s get started, but first, you might want to ask…

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Why do I need to open CSCS account?

Be it an investment in shares of quoted companies, or in unquoted shares traded at the OTC platform, or investment in government bonds; you need a CSCS Account.
This is because it is one of the requirements for investing in securities traded in the Nigerian capital market.

Directive from the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)

A few years back, a deadline was issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission to completely do away with the issuing tangible share certificates and to keep all investment in shares electronically.

It is of interest to know that with a CSCS account, it is easier to monitor your investment portfolio.

Through this, your investment is safe and makes it easy for you to find shares in your name. Your dividends are deposited in your CSCS account if you have one.

But first…

What is CSCS?

CSCS is an acronym for Central Securities Clearing System. The Central Securities Clearing System Plc is a subsidiary of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE).

In 1997, It started operations as the major financial infrastructure for the Nigerian capital market.
Hence, the CSCS is the Central Depository for the Nigerian capital market with the responsibility for storing, clearing and settlement of securities transactions.

Roles of CSCS in Nigeria

To be more specific, we can classify the roles of the Central Security Clearing System in the Nigerian capital market as follows:

  1. It is the central depository for share certificates of companies quoted on The Nigerian Stock Exchange.
  2. It serves as a Sub-registry for all quoted securities.
  3. It issues central securities identification numbers to shareholders; and
  4. It serves as the guardian for local and foreign instruments.
  5. For effective performance in this role, the CSCS functions through a digital depository system.
  6. To have a proper understanding of this concept, think about your relationship with your bank.

Whenever you make some money, you will be faced with the option of either keeping the cash with you (shelf, wallet, wardrobe) or depositing it in your bank account.

Also, for you to know the total amount of money you have in your bank account, you will need your statement of account from your bank.

And if there is any need for your money you simply withdraw it through any of the withdrawal channels.

So then what’s the purpose of keeping your money in your account rather than in your possession?

I believe you do so because it is more secured and it will probably yield profit over a period of time.

That is how it works when you acquire a company and you are given a share certificate as proof of your investment, now it’s in your discretion to either keep the share certificate in your possession or deposit it with the CSCS for safety.

How does CSCS Operate?

The CSCS keeps it secured digitally. Every other investment you may make via the secondary market will also go into your CSCS account.

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Just like the banks, anytime you wish to know the number of shares you have, you request for your account statement with the CSCS.

On it will be shown the companies you invested in, the volume of shares you hold in each of these companies including the worth of the shares as at the date of issuing a statement.

The CSCS opens an account and assigns an account number to every shareholder who entrusts their shares with them. With this unique account number, you can acquire more shares, trade what you already have, or even transfer ownership to your dependent as you deem fit.

The CSCS was created to aid in strengthening the capital market and ensure investors have a better investing experience.

Prior to the establishment of the CSCS, there were inadequacies in the system which discouraged investors from investing.

For instance, delivery of share certificates could be between 3 months to 12 months thereabouts and settlement of transactions could take several weeks.

Verification of signatures was an enormous task and was the main reason why transactions were not enabled easily.

There were also cases where certificates were misplaced, lost and even stolen. Above all it was an easy way for dubious stockbrokers to sell investor’s shares in an unapproved manner.

The total market risk was very high due to undue delays in processing trades.  And these delayed transaction cycles gave opportunities for manipulations by operators.  Above all, there was a general lack of transparency and trust in the market.

How to Open CSCS Account

  • Step 1: Check the list of accepted and approved stockbrokers on the official website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and on the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Step 2:Approach a registered stockbroker.
  • Step 3: Stockbroker will have to create an account for you
  • Step 4: Your CSCS account will be processed after supplying the required documents (whether as an individual or corporate account, see below.)
  • Step 5:After a satisfactory review of the documents, your stockbroker will then prepare the account opening documents.
  • Step 6: Your stockbroker examines and forwards the documents to CSCS
  • Step 7: Your CSCS account is ready you’ll then receive a trading account number and a Clearing House number (CHN).


The Clearing House Number (CHN) links your account to the stockbroking house.

Types of CSCS Account in Nigeria

There are two types of CSCS account in Nigeria, they are:

  • Individual account
  • Corporate account

Requirements for Individual account CSCS account opening

  • Brokerage Account Opening Forms
  • A CSCS Account Opening Form
  • A Passport Photo
  • Utility Bill
  • A means of Identification (either of National ID, Drivers’ License, International Passport).

Requirements for corporate account CSCS account opening:

  • Brokerage Account Opening Forms
  • A CSCS Account Opening Form
  • A Passport Photo
  • Utility Bill
  • A means of Identification (either of National ID, Drivers’ License, International Passport).
  • Incorporation documents of the company.
  • Board resolution approving the opening of the investment account will be required.
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What are the advantages of a Special CSCS account?

The advantage of having special CSCS account is that you alone have control of your portfolio as the account is not linked to any stockbroking firm and with this, your stockbroker will not be able to manipulate your account or transact on it without your approval.

The problem accompanying a regular cscs account is that your stockbroker has uninterrupted access to it due to the fact that it is tied to the stockbroking firm.

There have been instances where crooked stockbroking firms sell off stocks out of the portfolio of their customers without due authorization.

Subscribing to the CSCS Trade Alert is one sure way of knowing what happens in your account. With this, you are notified anytime a transaction takes place in your account and that will let you know if your broker is fondling your account suspiciously.

Opening a CSCS account is a vital prerequisite for investing in the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

How can I login to my CSCS account?

Head straight to cscs account login

How do I update my CSCS account personal details?

To update your CSCS account, you need to write a letter and address it to
The Managing Director,

CSCS PLC through your Stockbroker.
You need to pass through your stockbroker for security reasons.

What do I need for CSCS biometric capture system?

Please present any of the following valid means of identification;
National ID Card,
International Passport,
Driver’s License,
Voter’s Card
Your contact detail
Your CHN (Clearing House Number)
Name of Stockbroker
Investors BVN.
Investor’s Bank account number.

How can I claim my dividends?

You would need to contact the registrar managing the shares of the company you hold.

How Much Does it Cost to Open A CSCS Account?

Opening a CSCS account is generally free of charge but your stockbroker may charge you a little amount to cover the administrative cost.

Some stockbroking firms may also want you to deposit a certain minimum amount for trading as a requirement for creating accounts for you.

You can also demand to open a Special Account.

Final thought:

If you already bought shares and the company has been acquired by another company, talk to your stockbroker on how to claim your dividends.

Do you want to track your shares in Nigeria? Follow the steps above or head straight to CSCS online registration portal to read more about this, alternatively, you can drop your question below.


  • Opeyemi Quadri

    Ope is a finance writer and researcher with 10+ years of experience in content creation. His interests cut across real estate investment, foreign exchange, government policies and politics. He has a knack for breaking down complex financial concepts in a way that is easy to understand. Ope is available on Twitter @OpeQuadri.


2 thoughts on “How To Setup CSCS Account in Nigeria”

  1. Thanks for the wonderful and detailed write up .
    I am an investor of 25 years . I used to teach it at NYSC orientation camp but Nigerians cheat themselves with road side gossip on Capital market and a few bad eggs of stockbrokers .
    Thanks so much .

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