Following directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) instructing banks to allow customers with BVN to deposit cheques into their savings account, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has assured investors that dividend warrants can now be deposited into savings accounts.

The commission therefore urged investors to take immediate steps to deposit dividend warrants in their possession into their accounts

SEC, meanwhile, assured that it was working with CBN and other stakeholders on key initiatives all in bid to put an end to the growth in unclaimed dividends in the country.

According to the commission, “In particular, we set up a committee comprising the SEC, CBN and representatives of Registrars in 2013 to work on the e-Dividend programme.

“The committee’s work and advocacy played a crucial work in facilitating the significant progress already achieved, including the new directive on accepting cheques into savings accounts.

“Through excellent collaboration with the CBN, the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) and deposit money banks, the Commission was able to develop and deploy the e-Dividend Mandate Management System (e-DMMS) as an online portal for enrolling investors. Retail investors have since then been enrolling onto the platform using their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN).

“Investors who successfully register on the e-DMMS will be able to receive their dividends directly into their accounts.

“In addition to the e-DMMS, investors with previously-received dividend warrants can now deposit same into their savings accounts in line with the CBN circular under reference.

“This is an important achievement investors have been clamoring for in Nigeria since the inception of the capital market. For decades, investors who only operate savings accounts could not claim the dividends from their investments due to the inability to deposit dividend warrants into savings accounts.

“This limitation contributed to the growth in quantum of unclaimed dividends in Nigeria. With this new directive from the CBN, Nigeria is moving ever closer to an era where retail investors can have increased comfort to return to the capital market.

The Commission commended the CBN for the laudable step and appreciate the great support the CBN continues to show for capital market initiatives.

“We wish to reassure the investing public that the SEC will continue to engage with all stakeholders and take all actions necessary to restore confidence in our market. We would equally continue to strive to make investing in the capital market seamless and cheaper.”