As part of its deliverables in the 60-day national action plan on Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria, The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) declared it has simplified the forms required to register a business in Nigeria, reducing the number from seven to one.
The information was disclosed by Garba Abubakar, the special adviser to the commission’s registrar-general, at the Lagos stakeholders’ forum of the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES):
“We now have just one form which has been deployed this week. It contains all the information you need to register and is available for download on the CAC website. This reduces the cost and time needed to register a business,”
Abubakar continued that the CAC would make sure that business owners would be able to upload documents electronically as part of its deliverables in the 60-day national action plan on Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.
Speaking at the Lagos event, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, the minister of industry, trade and investment, said the renewed drive to ease the business environment was due to the realization that “Every country that has gotten it right has enabled businesses. It is the most sustainable long term way,” he remarked.
On her part, the coordinator of EBES, Jumoke Oduwole, indicated that the forums were designed to inform private stakeholders about government’s efforts to ease the business environment; give details on the action plan; and receive feedback to report back to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
Oduwole remarked that an example of the EBES feedback process at work was the impromptu visit on Thursday (February 23) by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos:
“Our vision is a dramatic improvement in Nigeria’s business environment over the next three years to a top 100 ranking in the World Bank Doing Business Report, with increased cross-border trading, increased productivity across key economic sectors and an improved business environment that is attractive to both domestic and foreign investors,” she stated.
The Lagos stakeholders’ forum was the second in two days by EBES, coming after Thursday’s forum in Kano.
The governments of the two states highlighted the various reforms in their states particularly with regard to getting construction permits and registering properties, which are under their authority.
According to the commissioner of physical planning and urban development, Wasiu Anifowoshe, “In Lagos, getting governor’s permit now takes less than 30 days. Quote me anywhere,” he declared.
Other reform initiatives disclosed at the forums include the CAC upcoming reform that will enable business owners to get e-stamps for stamp duties without visiting the offices of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Meanwhile, the FIRS stated that Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) can now be obtained when registering businesses at the CAC without visiting its offices.
Other facilitators at the event included: Yewande Sadiku, the executive secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) and Jameelah Ayedun, the MD of CR Services. Present also were the officials from The FIRS, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Eko Distribution Company, the National Collateral Registry, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), to mention but a few.
The forums were centered on the seven priority reform areas of EBES: starting a business, getting credit, trading across borders, getting electricity, construction permits, paying taxes and registering property.
The two events in Kano and Lagos witnessed many government officials, heads of MDAs and private sector players who cross-examined and interacted with officials, offered advice and also aired their views, (thecable.ng).
A good step in the right direction if you asked me, as we look forward to reaping the benefits of the EBES reforms: to attain a top 100 ranking in the World Bank Doing Business Report, increased productivity across key economic sectors and an improved business environment that is attractive to both domestic and foreign investors, among other indicators. The time to think and act is now; these are life and business essentials, so let’s keep thinking clearly. Thank you for reading and do have a beautiful day!
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