The Acting Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Mrs. Azuka Azinge, has said a total of 327,676 business names were registered while 41,719 Incorporated Trustees were registered in the last three years.
According to her, the breakdown of the filings showed that registered companies recorded 145,329 fillings, business names recorded 26,593 filings, while 18,156 incorporated trustee filings were returned in the period under review.
Speaking in Kano at the weekend, during a customers/stakeholders forum, Azinge said the incentive was extended from 1st January to 31st March 2019, to enable more micro small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) formalise their businesses.
Azinge, disclosed that the Commission recently dispensed with proficiency requirement for the registration of all forms of businesses.
She also put the total number of entities that had been registered by the commission since inception to date at 2,853,692.
The breakdown of the figure showed that 1,671,079 businesses were registered as limited liability companies, 1,115,429 entities were registered under business names while the remaining 67,185 were registered as incorporated trustees.
The CAC added that it registered 85,635 new companies in 2018.
It said the number of newly registered companies dropped by 2.57 per cent in 2018, compared to the 87,891 companies that were registered in 2017.
The commission had under its Business Incentive Strategy (BIS) reduced the cost of business name registration from N10,000 to N5,000, for a period of three months covering October 1 to December 31, 2018.
The BIS is aimed at creating a window for MSMEs to formalise their businesses so that they can own corporate accounts with banks, have access to loans, grants and other government interventions.
Azinge said upon the expiration of the initial three months window, the commission received several requests from states and other agencies seeking an extension of the 50 per cent fee reduction promo.
She said in view of the benefits of the BIS, coupled with the demand for extension by stakeholders, it became imperative to further extend the period to March 31 of this year to enable more MSMEs to formalise their businesses.
“Only recently, the commission extended the BIS to encourage small businesses to formalise their businesses by registering same with the commission.
“During the initial three months of the BIS registration, activities increased tremendously. For the months of October and November 2018, a total of 39,074 business names were registered.”
She added that in the third quarter (July to September) 32,504 were registered and from October to December a total of 66,687 companies were captured.
The acting registrar general said the commissioned had embarked on some reforms with a view to improving on its services being rendered to the teeming business men and women across the country.
Azinge said, “CAC was able to make provide a platform for direct registration by first directors/subscribers, digitalisation of its legacy records, full decentralisation of its operations, development of company registration portal and provision of 24 hours online registration of businesses.
“The commission also co-located its ICT infrastructure to guarantee uninterrupted availability of service 24/7, provided a robust website and removal of requirement for proficiency certificate for business registration.”
Speaking earlier, during a panel discussion, Professor Murtala Sabo Sagagi, the Dean, Dangote School of Business, Bayero University Kano, urged the commission to intensify action on its sensitisation campaign to enable people know more about the importance of registering their businesses.
Sagagi, said a survey conducted recently had shown that out of the 400 SME sampled in Tarauni local government, only three registered with CAC, seven registered with state government, nine with local government and 388 had never registered the names of their businesses.
“This has indicated that the commission has a lot to do to sensitise the general public on the importance of registering their businesses with the CAC,” he said.
Other dignitaries that attended the forum included board member of the CAC, Mr Rabiu Madugu; Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Kano chapter, Barrister M.A Lawan among others.