Only 9 per cent of investors in the Nigerian capital market are within the age bracket of 30 to 34 years, just as 65 percent of the total investors’ figure is made of males, data from the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has shown.

The figures derived from the e-dividend register, revealed that about 31.3 per cent of investors are within the age bracket of 45 to 55; 24.9 per cent between 35 and 44 years old; 22.6 per cent 55 to 64 years; and 12.2 per cent above 65 years old.

The e-dividend register is an electronic means of posting shareholders dividends directly into their bank accounts, and captures the majority of the investors.

SEC had in 2016, formally inaugurated the e-Dividend Mandate Management System (e-DMMS), in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System and all Deposit Money Banks, with the aim of addressing the issue of unclaimed dividends in the capital market.

According to the updated report on e-dividend mandate obtained by Daily Trust, a total of 2.1 million investors have registered for the e-dividend payment platform. A total of 838,671 constitute the total unique investors by account, while 433,164 are the total unique investors by Bank Verification Number (BVN).

This information suggests that 349,279 accounts belonging to unique investors are not linked to a BVN.

Already, the Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC) has set a December 2017 deadline for accounts to be consolidation by investors who have multiple accounts which were part of the reasons why unclaimed dividends rose to over N80 billion.

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The Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo, while speaking on the data said, “The statistics has thrown up important revelations and we have become increasingly aware that we need to do things that will catch the attention of the younger generation.”

He said: “As at today, 65 per cent of the market rests in age bracket of 25 to 65 years. And we will also be focusing more on women related activities to attract them to the capital market.”

He said the commission would leverage on the social media, as well as deploy sensitization in Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo languages to achieve greater penetration.

A state by state figure revealed that Anambra State with 10 per cent (43,315 investors), has the highest number of investors in the capital market.

This was closely followed by Imo and Ogun states that both have 9 per cent (38,988 investors each). Delta State has 7 per cent (30,320) and Edo 6 per cent (25,989 investor), while 0.4 per cent are non-residents.

On the nationality of the investors, 421,377 accounts belong to Nigerians; 109 are owed by Ghanaians; 156 by Indians; 142 by British; 46 by Lebanese; and 32 by Americans.

The statistics further revealed that 38 per cent of the investors are based in Lagos; 8 per cent in Abuja; 6 per cent in Rivers; and 5 per cent in Oyo and Ogun states respectively.

Multiple accounts have arisen from the Initial Public Offering/Public Offering (IPO/PO) in which some investors would apply for the IPOs by toggling their names or using different permutations of their names to acquire shares to beat the system that had placed a cap to every investor’s  allotment.

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Sometimes, non-natural persons’ names were used in different permutations with the implication that such accounts would become orphan accounts not tied to any living nor dead persons.

Gwarzo urged all investors to regularise their accounts with their BVN. “We want all accounts that are identifiable and linked to a natural human to be merged.

“By the expiration of our deadline, the balance in that account will be transferred to the market development fund. IPOs going forward will be BVN driven because we are determined to clean up the mess of the past,” he stated.

The SEC Director-General added that the major aim of the e-dividend payment system was to curb unclaimed dividends in the market, noting that the unclaimed dividends figure was reducing due to the e-dividend.

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