N60bn unclaimed dividend: CSCS, shareholders lament cumbersome recovery process

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CENTRAL Securities Clearing System, CSCS Plc and its shareholders have decried the cumbersome process involved in the recovery of unclaimed dividend associated with the death of shareholders from quoted companies in the Nigerian capital market.
Consequently, they have called on the federal government to establish a special court for unclaimed dividend as part of measures to reduce the amount of unclaimed dividend which has risen to an estimated amount of over N60 billion.
The shareholders who spoke at the CSCS Plc 24th Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos stated: “It has become imperative for the CSCS to call the attention of the federal government to remove the cumbersome process of recovering unclaimed dividend in the event of death by the original shareholder as getting letter of administration and other documents by the beneficiaries of those securities are very difficult, expensive and time consuming.
“We would like to suggest a special court to be put in place for unclaimed dividend as this could go a long way to reduce the alarming rate of unclaimed dividend in the country.”

The shareholders commended the board and management of CSCS for their efficiency in managing the company as it declared a dividend of 70 kobo per share out of the Earnings Per Share , EPS of N1.00 for the financial year ended December 31, 2017.

Speaking to Vanguard after the meeting, the Chairman of CSCS Plc, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said “Yes, we agree with the shareholders that the recovery process involved in unclaimed dividend is very cumbersome and need to be reviewed. We are going to involve the entire value chain to find a way of reducing this process. The entire parties involved in this process such as court, lawyers, stockbrokers, registrars and companies among others need to be involved to find a way of streamlining the process.”
“ Also, on the issue of setting a special court as demanded by shareholders, we will relate this to the appropriate body. Also, on the issue of funding the Investment Securities Tribunal, IST, you will recall that the immediate past Finance Minister had stated that the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE and CSCS should fund the body, but I think the entire stakeholders in the capital market should be involved in funding IST as it is a vibrant organisation that need to be sustained for the growth and development of our capital market” he explained.
In his own comment, Chief Executive Officer, CSCS, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, said: “We will continue to improve on our performance. We doubled our revenue by 64.49 percent. We surpassed out target on profit before tax to record N5.66 billion from the target of N3.86 billion. We are paying dividend of 70 kobo per share, representing N3.5billion as against N1.05 billion in 2016. Going forward, we will continue to improve on our technology and introduce more products in response to market need.”

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