By Oluwatobi Opusunju
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has announced plans to further integrate technology into its processes to fast rack the registration of businesses in Nigeria within two hours. The commission said it was working to align with the Federal Government’s Executive Order on ease of doing business in the country.
Statutory business registration may be done for as low as 24 hours; in some cases it takes days. But acting Registrar-General of the commission, Azuka Azinge said the commission targets to reduce time frame to just 2hrs before the year end.
The Executive Order issued in 2017 by the then acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is designed to promote transparency and efficiency in Nigeria’s sluggish and cumbersome business environment.
The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report for 2018 placed Nigeria in the 145th spot, 24 positions better than the 169th spot the nation was ranked in the 2017 report. Business processes are still marked by queues and paper works at most government agencies.
The CAC has already commenced a 24 hour online company name registration process to increase efficiency and make starting a business less tasking and time consuming for Nigerians.
In 2017, CAC automated the registration of business and company names and incorporated trustees through its web portal – the Companies Registration Portal (CRP).
“The post-registration is still manual. We are hoping that before the next few months, we should have that online, so that the issue of paying annual returns, which is still very cumbersome at the moment, can be easily achieved,” Azuka said during a visit by the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment to the commission’s Lagos office in Ikeja recently.
“We are still working and improving on the pre-registration infrastructure platform. We are hoping that as we continue to do that, the pre-registration process will also become faster, with fewer complaints from the customers. We want to reduce the 24 hours it takes to register a company to two hours. We are hoping to do that by the end of the year or before that,” he added.
According to the 2018 World Bank report, Nigeria is among the 10 top countries that improved on reforms in areas such as starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering a property, getting credit and paying taxes.