• Monday, May 27, 2024
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CAC urges SMEs to register businesses for access to finance

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Business owners, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), have been urged to register their businesses so as to have access to finance and business development services.

Speaking at a public forum organised by Oyo State government in partnership with Growth Empowerment in States (GEMS3), World Bank, Department of International Development (DFID) and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the state’s offices coordinator of the commission, Yazid Aliyu says formal registration with CAC has greater benefits for business owners and incentives that will help to enhance their businesses to thrive.

Aliyu says until January 2012, only lawyers, chartered accountants and chartered secretaries were eligible to present applications to CAC for registration of companies, saying the policy has attracted criticism as a contributing factor to huge cost of starting a business in Nigeria, which has resulted to negative rating in global competitiveness.

He says as part of measure to improve Nigeria’s rating that the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment initiated the investment climate reform programme with technical and financial support from GEMS3.

The policy, he points out, is principally targeted to benefit SMEs who may not afford the services of accredited agents and to encourage informal businesses to register and deepen access to finance for those classes of business.
He says that the Federal Government has reduced the filing fees payable for registration of new companies, saying that the commission has deployed a new registration software in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Communications

Technology which now makes it possible for accredited customers and business owners to carry out their transaction online.

In his address, an investment specialist, Ben Ogbunude says before now the cost of registering businesses in Nigeria was high due to number of procedures required to register a business.

This has raised Federal Government concern to make the procedures less cumbersome through tax harmonisation by  reducing tax burden on businesses, promoting the benefits of formalisation to increase business registration.

He says that one of the benefits of registering business with CAC is an easy access to loans and solving problem related to issue of collateral.

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Also speaking at the forum,  Folakemi Akinleye, the special adviser to the governor of Oyo State, says the state government could  not do it alone, saying that is why it has to partner the private sector to make economy thrive.

She says the essence of the forum is to enlighten business owners on how to manage their business better through information made available to them.

The Federal Government of Nigeria in partnership with DFID, World Bank came up with a programme called Growth Empowerment in States (GEMS3), an initiative to reduce poverty in the country.

The move is to improve living standard of the citizenry through GEMS.

REMI FEYISIPO