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Contrary to claims by the Registrar-General of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Mr Mahmud Bello, that the commission has started operating 24 hours company registration process to make startup of business easier in Nigeria, findings at the Abuja head office by Business Hilights still suggest that there is nothing new after all.
A lawyer, who had been accredited by CAC over the years in facilitating company registration who spoke to our correspondence on ground of anonymity, said “The truth is that there is no marked difference between what we have been doing and what the Registrar-General has said”. “The only difference is that everybody had been told to be serious which is not new. If anybody tells you that it takes only 48 hours to register a company now at CAC, he is just telling you lies.
“Let me explain to you how this thing works, if you come up with you chosen company name, it has to be logged into the system to find out whether there has been a resemblance and this process takes days.
Continuing, the lawyer added that “Apart from taking days, every person or group of persons wishing to register a new company must have at the back of their minds that the name they came with may not be what will be registered because during search, which must be paid for either officially or unofficially, adjustments’ may be needed so that the name will not be rejected by the system.
He said the main thing that delay in registration of companies include documentation, tax matters and name search.
According to him, all these processes cause elongation of the registration process.
The Registrar-General had at a CAC Customers’ Forum in Kano, organised in collaboration with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) assured that it will now be taking not more than two days or 48 hours to register a new company.
In a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, Bello said that the aim of operating the new system was to ensure that business owners in Nigeria conveniently registered their businesses online within 48 hours.
He said series of reforms has been implemented by the commission this year to make it quicker, cheaper and more convenient for Nigerians to start businesses.
“CAC, as an agency of government involved in the startup of business, has keyed into the Federal Government’s vision to make Nigeria an easier place for businesses to start and thrive.
“Our reforms are designed with the MSMEs in mind. For us, a customer is a king and must be treated with royalty,” Bello said.
Bello said that manual application and registration processes would be gradually phased out in the course of the year.
According to him, the manual registration phase out will start with Lagos and Kano as from April 30, where all submissions should be done online.
Earlier, the Secretary of PEBEC, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, said the council was committed to providing complete support to CAC and all other MDAs to implement the reforms.
Oduwole, the reform is to actualise the Federal Government’s mandate of making businesses work in Nigeria.