1.1 Background of the Study
So many factors affect the performance of corporate organizations and one of those factors is dividend policy. Dividend policy serves as a mechanism for control of a managerial opportunism. Empirical studies show that firms in developing Countries (e.g. Nigeria) smooth on their income and therefore, their dividends. The pattern of corporate dividend policies not only varies over time but also across countries, especially between developed, developing and emerging Capital markets. If the value of a company is the function of its dividend payments, dividend policy will affect directly the firm’s cost of capital.
Dividend is the return that accrues to shareholders as a result of the money invested in acquiring the stock of a given company (Eriki and Okafor 2002). While dividend policy on the other hand is concerned with division of net profit after taxes between payments to shareholders (ordinary shareholders) and retention for reinvestment on behalf of the shareholders (Kempner 1980) a difficult decision for both public and private limited companies is to determine the appropriate level of dividend to be paid to shareholders, and to decide whether or not to offer non-cash alternatives such as scrip dividends.