Unclaimed dividends, balances bill passes through 2nd reading at National Assembly


Peter OBIORA, INVESTADVOCATE Writer, On Wednesday July 21, 2010, 16:30 GMT


LAGOS – A Bill on Unclaimed dividends and balances has passed through it seconding reading at the National Assembly in Abuja Nigeria. Sir Sunny Nwosu, Shareholder Leader and National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) confirmed this to investadvocate Wednesday July 21 2010.


“There is a Bill that has gone through a second reading and awaits public hearing on unclaimed dividends and balances. Balances, remains with the Banks while the unclaimed dividends with Registrars of Companies” Sir Nwosu said.


The Shareholder Leader affirmed that what determines unclaimed is after 15 months (one year and three months) after which a company is entitled to take back the funds and keep for the investors. “In fact what determines unclaimed is that after 15 months, the company will take back the funds and put it in a save custody for the shareholders” he said.


Sir Nwosu again confirmed to investadvocate of the existence of a law in Nigeria making dividend unclaimed until after a period of 12 years.

“But there is a law in Nigeria which states that a dividend remains unclaimed until 12 years and after that period, it is returned back to the company that paid it, that law is still in existence. There is no need tampering with people’s future by passing a law to empower some individuals to take what does not belong to them; just like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is doing currently wanting to sell what does not belong to it. I am happy they (those at the National Assembly on unclaimed dividend and balances) have seen reasons and reversed that” the Shareholder Leader affirmed.


He enjoined companies to live up to their responsibilities by educating Nigerian Law Makers on the proposed amendment of unclaimed dividends and balances. “What I am saying is that companies must get up to their responsibility and educate those in the National Assembly to understand that there is a law guiding this issue. While the shareholders would on their part be doing all that is necessary to make sure the amendment of this law benefits all and sundry.


As earlier reported, Apex Capital Market Regulatory Institution, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had affirmed that unclaimed dividend was N2.09 billion as at third quarter (Q3) of 1999, and then the figure rose significantly over the years to about N17.9 billion as at December 2008. This shows an increase of 756.46 percent (756.46%) in the review period of N2.09 billion in 1999 to N17.9 billion in year 2009.

In a recent interview with investadvocate, unconfirmed Reports by Gboyega Babalola, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sterling Registrars Limited put the amount of unclaimed dividend to an estimated N20 billion.



Comments are closed.