The Securities and Exchange Commission has warned Nigerians to shun fraudsters and Ponzi scheme managers that attract unsuspecting customers with huge, but unrealistic dividends.
The Acting Director-General of the Commission, Mary Uduak, urged Nigerians to stay away from fake financial experts, who would promise to double their money within a short time.
Uduak spoke on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, during a town hall meeting organised by SEC with its theme as ‘Current Initiatives by the Securities and Exchange Commission Nigeria to enhance Investors Value’.
She explained that the purpose of the meeting with shareholders and other investors was to protect from the antics of such fraudsters, especially promoters of Ponzi schemes.
The acting SEC DG said, “The purpose is also to ensure that you do not fall victim to the antics of fraudsters who purport to be able to double any amount of money you make available to them as investment value.
“These fraudsters or promoters of Ponzi schemes are the false prophets of the investment environment; they are the ill wind that blows no good and at whose sight you must flee. They are to be avoided.
“This is one message you must take home to family, friends, relations, and acquaintances in order to save them from the agony of loss of their hard earned money.”
She revealed that the newly introduced e-Dividend regime was aimed at reducing constraints usually encountered by shareholders, particularly those bordering on unclaimed dividend.
According to her, “SEC is currently leading the entire capital market industry in an effort to migrate all shareholders to an e-Dividend regime. The essence of the e-Dividend Mandate Management System is to eradicate or reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of unclaimed dividend.
“Unclaimed dividend is an undesirable feature of the Nigerian capital market, which denies investors/shareholders the gains of participating in the capital market.
“It denies the economy access to the huge amount of money which should have accrued to shareholders and would have gone into circulation to oil the wheel of the economy.
“It is a consequence of the bottlenecks which are inherent in the erstwhile paper dividend warrant regime such as postal system inefficiency, change in investors’ addresses, poor fidelity and human fallibility in dividend payment processes, amongst others.
“The e-Dividend regime bypasses these limitations by ensuring that dividends, which do not exceed 12 years of the issue are credited directly to an investors account after the declaration by the paying company and within a stipulated payment period through simple interbank transfer.
“The e-Dividend registration exercise started on November 23, 2016. Each successful registration cost N150, however, between that time and March 31, 2018, the Commission underwrote the registration cost for all investors that mandated. It is my pleasure to let us know, that a total of 2.4million accounts had been mandated.”
Uduak, however, urged participants at the occasion and other shareholders to key into the e-Dividend registration by visiting the nearest bank branch or registrar.
She urged participants to inform others about the e-Dividend regime, adding that it was in the best interest of every shareholder.
The SEC acting DG also said that the Commission had embraced the dematerializing of share certificates in order to make the holding of shares in companies more convenient to track.
She urged those holding share certificates in paper form to go and dematerialize them to make the business of buying shares and getting dividends easier.