By Miriam Humbe
The Acting Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, (CAC), Lady Azuka Azinge has said that the signing into Law of the Commission’s enabling Legislation will go a long way in helping the Commission realize its dream of being a World Class Companies Registry.
Azinge also revealed that the Commission was optimistic President Muhammadu Buhari will give the desired Assent to the Bill because of its importance to the economy.
“With respect to Small Businesses which contributes significantly to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), I am pleased to announce that the Commission successfully implemented the Business Incentive Strategy (BIS) under which cost of registration of business was reduced by 50% to enable MSMEs formalize their businesses. A total of 244,428 Business Names were registered during the period”.
In a goodwill message at the annual Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) stakeholders conference in Abuja on Thursday, Mrs Azinge commended the Leadership of CICAN for its efforts dynamism in the dissemination of Government programmes.
She said:”The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the sole Government agency responsible for registration and regulation of Companies, Business Names and Incorporated Trustees in Nigeria.
“In realization of its mandate, the Commission has simplified business registration by streamlining its processes and procedures to encourage MSMEs formalize their businesses. No doubt, when the current administration unveiled the Ease of Doing Business its agenda, the Commission readily keyed into it.
“Consequently, the Commission has been working very closely with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) since the establishment of the latter in 2016.
“In order to achieve its vision of being a World Class Companies Registry, the Commission has embarked upon several reform initiatives aimed at making Nigeria the preferred investment destination. Some of those reforms have been concluded, while others are on-going. They include:
“i) Introduction of Help Desk
The lines are: 08182299016, 08182298971, 09087401598, 09087401599 & 09087401600. The Help Desk also has an email service:email@example.com
ii) Feedback Mechanism
iii) Participation in Nationwide MSMEs Clinics
iv) Enhanced Collaboration/partnership with Stakeholders
v) Removal of Requirement for Proficiency Certificates as Condition for Business Registration
vi) Full Decentralization of Operations
vii) 24 hours online registration of businesses
viii) Digitalization of Legacy Records
ix) Introduction of functional external and internal communication (robust website, periodic Circulars)
x) Partial automation of Post-incorporation filings from State Offices to reduce turnaround time and reduce costs.
xi) Introduced sustainability management principles and keyed into Sustainability Development Agenda of the Federal Government and subsequently incorporated same into its operations.
xii) Consolidation of Incorporation Forms into one CAC1.1 thereby further simplifying registration for customers and reduction in costs.
xiii) Amendment of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990
The amendment is designed to enhance the Commission’s supervisory and regulatory powers.
Specifically, the amendment seeks to:
• Ease starting and growing businesses in Nigeria
• Ensure more appropriate regulation for MSMEs
• Enhance transparency and shareholder engagement
• Align regulatory framework with international best practice.
• Make Nigeria an investment destination of choice.
The Amendment according to her, has been passed by both Houses of the National Assembly is awaiting Presidential ASSENT.
CICAN’s theme for this year’s Conference is: “NEXT LEVEL AGENDA: Unlocking the Under-utilized Potentials in the Non-Oil Sector; the Role of MSMEs”.
CICAN Chairman, Fred Idehai thanked the participants saying, “This is an indication of greater things to come only if we keep working as a formidable team”.