Stakeholders urged to tackle market infractions, unclaimed dividend

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Ahead of the change of ownership (demutualization) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), stakeholders in Nigeria’s capital market have been urged to collaborate, especially in the area of shared services to tackle infractions and high incidence of unclaimed dividend in the market.

A Professor of Economics, Babcock University, Segun Ajibola, speaking at the inauguration of a new Governing Council for the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR), weekend, argued that infractions such as market manipulations, insider trading and unclaimed dividends can’t happen if operators and regulators live up to their responsibility.

He described investment opportunities in the capital market as huge, noting that there is still a dearth of knowledge of the technicalities and intricacies of the market among retail investors. He categorically said promoting and protecting the interest of the profession through upholding the highest standards would contribute to the growth of the market.

“Investors need the experience and expertise of stockbrokers and registrars to play in the market with confidence. Unlike the money market where investors can rush in and out, it is not so in the capital market.

“Hence, it will be disastrous to every stakeholder if the operators compromise integrity in their dealings with members of the public. He pointed out that Nigeria’s capital market is still largely underdeveloped when compared to peers in other emerging economies. Therefore, he submitted that all hands must be on deck to drive the capital market and sustain the growing level of confidence in the market by the public.

According to him, if operators and regulators alike played their role, the synergies between the capital and money markets would assist the government to drive current financial inclusion, deepen the market, cultivate savings habits and promote the needed investment culture in the country. Ajibola, a former President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), who spoke on the topic: “Service with Integrity – A Promise that Must be Kept,” urged ICMR to maintain accurate information of shareholders.

He stressed the need for ICMR members to maintain spotless registers of shareholders by devising means of updating the registers regularly to tackle identity management problems. He added that registrars should resolve ownership matters that might arise in the event of death, and provide a way to deal with unclaimed dividends.

The President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Abimbola Ogunbanjo, said the demutualization of the Exchange would further enhance capital market operation by promoting high level of corporate governance in the market. He added that it would boost transparency and attract more strategic partners, investors and quality issuers in the market.