Wednesday, 30 September 2015

SEC DIRECTS REGISTRARS TO USE E-DIVIDEND PORTAL

The Securities and Exchange Commission has directed all registrars to commence the use of the e-Dividend Mandate Management System Portal, which it launched in July this year. In a circular to the registrars, the commission said the system was ready for use by all banks and registrars in the country following the training of the staff of the registrars, adding that banks would soon be asked to stop the verification of paper mandates.

The commission had said earlier this month that investors could now enroll for e-dividend payments at banks and registrar branches nationwide through the online platform. According to the commission, the development follows the release of a circular on the implementation of the e-dividend mandate management system portal by the Central Bank of Nigeria to all Deposit Money Banks on Monday.

The commission had explained that the e-dividend scheme had been a priority initiative for the entire capital market in a bid to curb the growth of unclaimed dividends and improve the overall efficiency of Nigeria’s equities markets.

The e-DMMS portal utilises NIBSS (Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System) robust document management system to which e-dividend mandate forms filled by the investor can be uploaded,” it explained, adding that the e-dividend form could be obtained and properly filled at bank branches or in the office of a registrar.

In a new circular to all registrars dated September 22, the commission, which disclosed that the portal was ready for use, said, “It is therefore mandatory for every registrar to immediately commence the use of the e-Dividend Mandate Management System Portal as directives will soon be issued to banks to discontinue the verification of paper mandates presented to bank branches.”

According to the commission, all registrars’ offices/accredited outlets shall be points of upload of completed e-dividend mandate forms by investors who may alternatively approach their banker to process their completed e-dividend mandate forms.

It also said, “Every registrar shall validate investor’s shareholder account number, name, signature and clearing house number.”

This, according to it, shall be followed with the upload of scanned copy of completed e-dividend mandate forms on to the portal for immediate access by the investor’s nominated bank for the verification of his/her bank account details.

In processing the forms, it urged the registrars to be cautious, saying, “Registrars shall exercise caution when validating names generated by the system for the clearing house number, shareholder account number and bank account number against the physical form to ensure there is a reasonable level of congruence before the document is accepted and saved on the portal.”

Among other things, the commission said investors should be educated to complete separate forms for each shareholder’s account number, as upload of e-dividend mandate forms should be on the basis of individual shareholder number and company of investment indicated by the investor on the physical e-dividend mandate form.

For seamless integration and use of the portal, the commission advised the registrars to contact the NIBSS for the required integration requirements and access rights to the portal and any further clarifications required towards a smooth operation of the new system. (punch)