In continuation with the improvement on the ease of doing business in Nigeria, The Corporate Affairs Commission, (CAC) has reduced the length of days required to register new businesses in the country from 10 to 2.
Apart, there is now a 24-hour time limit for company registration considering when application form is completed and all required documents submitted.
In addition, those desiring to become business owners can now search on the CAC’s portal (www.cac.gov.ng) for verification of business names to avoid name duplication and to prevent choosing banned names, even as company registration no longer requires lawyers as it is now a thing of choice for SMEs to hire lawyers to prepare registration materials.
These were some of the highpoints of a report presented at a Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, (PEBEC) today at the Presidential Villa, marking the end of the 60-day Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria reforms.
It may be recalled that The Council inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. But the report presentation meeting was chaired by Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi, one of the federal ministers and Council members, as the Vice President was occupied with the Presidential Investigative Panel.
Other Ministers at the meeting were Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of State for Industry Trade & Investment Aisha Abubakar, and her counterpart in Budget & National Planning Zainab Ahmed. Other government luminaries at the meeting were the Head of Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, and many heads of MDAs. The report was presented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Trade & Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole.
From the report, CAC has initiated single incorporation form (CAC1.1) to save time as well as reduce costs even as the agency has set up document upload interface on its website to make possible e-submission of registration materials.
Other facets of the reforms realized in the last 60 days include the incorporation of the FIRS e-payment solution into CAC portal to make room for e-stamping while the reform authorizes CAC internal lawyers to certify company incorporation forms and conduct statutory declaration of compliance for a fixed cost of N500.
From the report, the PEBEC listed “Dealing with construction permits, Getting electricity, Registering Property, Getting Credit and Paying Taxes,” as some of the areas where the council has recorded progress in the past 60 days.
The report also emphasized the completed reforms on the “Entry and Exit of People,” pointer which includes “Simplified Visa-on-Arrival process”, Infrastructural improvements at the Abuja airport, and the new Immigration Regulation 2017.
The report also highlighted that the completed reforms were being closely observed to ensure thorough implementation with minimal disruption while unresolved reforms were being intensified to ensure completion in a couple of weeks.
Regarding Trading around Borders, part of the completed reforms include palletisation of imports, advanced cargo manifests, reduction in documentation requirements and scheduling of Joint Physical Examination by the Customs Service.
The National Action Plan comprises of initiatives and actions carried out by responsible Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the National Assembly, some State Governments, and some stakeholders in the private sector.
The Council stressed that with the conclusion of implementation of the Action Plan, the next stage would involve “deepening existing reforms; completing and implementing pending initiatives; engaging with the public; validating completed reforms and kicking-off medium-term reforms.”
According to the report, the Council would also start-off “sub-national reforms across Nigeria’s 36 states; trading within Nigeria; kick-start initiatives and reforms improving business processes and regulations within Nigeria; and ease of movement of goods within and around regions in Nigeria”, (Vanguard, 24/4/17).
A good step in the right direction, if you asked me, as it’s often said, “A journey of millions of kilometers starts with a step forward”. Investors, would be business men and women, it’s now up to you to make good use of the ease of doing business reforms. 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!
Your suggestions, comments or contributions are highly appreciated.
Find <a target=’new’ href=”https://www.facebook.com/406938522791381″>patirole.com</a> on Facebook