The Government of Nigeria has officially commenced its ‘start-to-finish” 24 hour business incorporation services through its Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). This is a landmark achievement as it would go a long way into easing the cost and ease of starting a business in the country.
Following the new service, it would take just 24 hours to register or incorporate a business in the country.
The country’s Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga commissioned the service during the inauguration of the CAC’s Alausa office late last week.
According to him, “The target is to ensure that companies are registered within two hours and to institute a vibrant and transparent companies’ registry, where services will be user-friendly. However, to show that we mean business and that we care about our customers, I direct that a complaints register be opened for anyone who is not able to get his company registered within 24 hours.”
According to him: “The process of incorporation and other services were manual, registration numbers were manually picked and certificates of incorporation were manually typed. It, therefore, took months to register a company.
“But the management of the commission, under the supervision of my ministry, has embarked on programmes/projects that have transformed the commission into a modern company registry. Some of these include the relocation of the commission’s head office, review of its incorporation processes, computerisation of its operations and improvement of its human resources.”
The service is expected to substantially improve the country’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, a ranking compiled annually by The World Bank. Nigeria currently ranks 131 on a scale of 1-185 with 1 being the highest rank.
“Studies have found that the creation of new businesses is a significant indicator of the level of economic growth and development of a country; in addition to the job creation and wealth generation that come with it,” he stressed.
The Minister also noted that the commission’s records have been substantially digitized to ease document tracking and retrieval. According to him, “In order to ease post incorporation activities, safeguard the records and ensure the integrity of all information in the commission, rapid document imaging has been embarked upon through the conversion of our manual records to suitable electronic formats.
“On completion, records of all companies, business names and incorporated trustees will be available electronically and manual searches will be abolished. Customers will be able to access these records from the comfort of their offices and homes and pay the search fees, using electronic payment system.”