Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Unclaimed Dividends Hits N50.94 Billion

The Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR) on Saturday said unclaimed dividends in the nation's purse had reached N50.94 billion as at Dec. 31, 2013.

The Chairman of Council ICMR, Mr Bayo Olugbemi, who made the disclosure in Lagos at a news conference, said the figure represented 5.05 per cent of the total dividends declared for the past 10 years.

He said the current level of unclaimed dividends was a significant improvement compared with past years.

It is reported that N50.94 billion was recorded as unclaimed dividends in 2013 as against N60 billion recorded in 2012.

Olugbemi said that efforts made by regulators and registrars had helped to reduce the level of unclaimed dividends in the nation's capital market.

He said the value of dividends currently being declared by companies were huge compared to 10 years ago.

Olugbemi, the Managing Director, First Registrars Ltd., said the efforts of regulators and registrars had yielded significant results in reducing the level of unclaimed dividends in the market.

"Years back the percentage of unclaimed dividends was around 24 per cent. But we have reduced it to below 20 per cent, 10 per cent and 5.05 per cent in December 2013," he said.

He promised that stakeholders in capital market would do more to further reduce the level of unclaimed dividends.

The chairman said that some of the big banks in the country which paid dividends below N10 billion in past years, paid over N54 billion dividends in 2013.

He said that in 2013 Dangote Cement declared dividend of about N120 billion.

Olugbemi said registrars would not relent in their efforts to make the capital market more attractive to investors.

He said the ICMR had decided to focus on corporate governance at its conference coming billed for this year.

NAN

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