• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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CAC takes critical steps to remove bottlenecks in companies’ registration

Corporate-Affairs-Commission

The latest innovation by the Corporate Affairs Commission which would make it possible for prospective Companies to register in the Nigeria’s business space without passing through Lawyers and other professionals has been described as a step in the right direction.

This, according to experts will protect customers from the exorbitant cumulative registration fees charged. It will also reduce the cost of business start up in the country and thereby improve doing business.

Unlike in most jurisdictions hitherto, registration of Companies was the exclusive preserve of Lawyers, Chartered Accountants and Chartered Secretaries who were the accredited agents.
This created monopoly as these professionals cash in on the public to make their pockets fat.

But this has raised concerns around the country’s ease of doing business. The need therefore for a credible business environment cannot be over-emphasized. It is widely acknowledged that a transparent and conducive business setup will sanitize business practice, encourage openness and greater efficiency, attract investors and boost the economy. A competitive business environment will contribute in brightening Nigeria’s business climate, attract the much needed investments, facilitate the domestic economy, and its integration into the global market.

The Corporate Affairs Commission has simplified its processes and procedures. Investors and entrepreneurs desirous of tapping from Nigeria’s abundant investment opportunities can now incorporate their companies within a shortest period.

The Commission’s introduction of public search window in its website is a massive leap in service delivery. It is gladdening that customers and members of the public can now conduct searches on existing registered Companies and those undergoing registration at no cost.

This initiative, it is believed will ignite a more transparent system by checking the status of companies and enabling prospective customers ascertain to an extent the availability or otherwise of a company name. Positive upgrade efforts are encouraging as CAC is also reviewing its checklist and registration forms.

Another innovation of the CAC is that as a result of the numerous limitations of the previous Content Pinnacle Software, the Commission initiated the process of developing another software which will not only eliminate all the limitations, but will also place the Commission in its rightful place as a world class Companies’ Registry true to its mission statement. This led to the deployment of the Companies Registration Portal (CRP) on the 2nd February, 2015.

Aside from the development of the CRP, the Commission has gone through other major innovations that have brought a lot of relief to all stakeholders (companies inclusive). This restructuring is in line with Bello Mahmud, CAC Registrar-General‘s four point agenda upon assumption of office in October 2009 which include: Enhanced ICT Infrastructures and Resources; Sensitization of the Public; Decentralization of Operations and Development of Human Resources.

One of these great and laudable innovations is the first ever compilation and publication of the Companies Regulations 2012. The Regulation was published in the official gazette on the 19th September 2012, Pursuant to the provisions of Sections 16, 585 and 609 of Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 (LFN 2004).
The essence of the compilation and publication of the Regulation is to eliminate the previous practice of taking customers and the public by surprise. With the Regulations, customers now know the requirements for filing of all the processes or applications.

The impact assessment carried out after the introduction of the Regulations shows that the rate of queries has reduced significantly, attesting to the fact that the introduction has been quite a success.

Again, the Corporate Affairs Commission on the September 16, 2013 published an amendment to the Companies Regulation 2012. The amendment reviewed downwards the filing fee for new registration and increase in share capital for companies under Part A and has been viewed as an incentive to the Companies. The filing fees have been reduced by 50% and 25% for companies with share capital up to =N=500million and in excess of =N=500million respectively.

Furthermore, the Commission in its quest to ensuring seamless registration processes is collaborating with Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) towards the integration of e-stamping module into theCRP. The project has been approved and will be completed within the next three months.

 

Stella Eneche