1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The electronic method of payment or e-payment (e-commerce) has taken a centre stage in economic activities of countries of the world. In its bid to catch up with this trend in the world, Nigeria has adopted e-commerce.
Investment in recent time, in the Nigeria capital market and in the banking industry appears to be taking its shape, especially when considered along the new lease of life. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seems to be injecting into the operation of the market and even the recapitalization exercise that was carried out in the banking industry.
The market before now was regarded as a place where only the elites in the society call the shot, but it is now being used as a variable factor in measuring the growth and development of nation around the globe. (www.business.com 2008)
Operation I the Nigerian Capital market have witnessed a lot of transformation, both in human and infrastructural development. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) being a self regulatory organization, in a space of time has eroded the elite cliché associated with the market and made it all corners affairs. Notwithstanding the Nigeria Stock Exchange goals and objectives of ensuring that every Nigerian has bile of the goodies in terms of returns on investment that flow from having a stake in the market, some structured guidelines in the affairs of the market as it relates to investors appears as if the investors were being done a favour for approaching the market for investment. With the recent security exchange commission directives that all registrars of Companies in the country should no longer hold brief for their parent company or any organization, they have close affinity with and coupled with the E-dividend option recently launched, investor’s prayer of a virile and transparent market operations may have finally come to be. (Best stock news. www.wordpress.com). It will be recalling that as at September 2007, though with the alleged connivance of registrars, a sum of N19billion unclaimed dividend was still variously being held in the coffers of both quoted and unquoted companies and that the money was being ploughed back into the owner’s account as profit.
(www.business.com 2007), attempts has been made in the pat by SEC to float a trust fund to help manage the huge unclaimed dividend but this was vehemently oppoed by the investors in the market.
The Security and Exchange Commission’s decision to launch the e-dividend at this time in the history of the country is a move towards attaining its vision of being among the 20 most developed economics in the world by 2020 and it serves a positive tonic to both local and international investors to now have a rethink on the workability of corporate governance policy in the country. (See e-dividend – option news of 17/03/2005).
E-dividend as an option is a means where by an investor’s account is credited electronically whenever a transaction is carried out for him/her in the market. E-payment system is applicable to the banking industry which means paying directly into the account of the beneficiary. Other advantages as it is obtained in other jurisdiction where e-dividend option and e-payment system have been adopted are that it will enhance the capital market liquidity; shareholders will have their money to reinvest on time; payment is being affected immediately; it reduces delay; enhances good cooperate governance; eradicates the era of quoted companies declaring dividend when in the actual fact they do not have cash on ground to pay.
According to the ministry of finance, on his open speech says ‘with the introduction of the e-dividend, the commission has further shown serious commitment in removing some constraints in dividend payment in the areas of eliminating unclaimed dividend. Warrants delay in depositing dividend warrants into current or saving account, dividend warrants lost due to change of address, incomplete address, poor and inefficient dispatch procedures and delay in receipt of dividend warrants.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM