CAC Fast Tracking the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria
The Chairman of Trade, Industry and Investment Committee of the Senate, distinguished Senator, Francis Fadaunsi has commended President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR for the appointment of Alhaji Garba Abubakar as the substantive Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission describing it as a perfect gift to the nation and most importantly to the Commission.
Senator Francis Fadahunsi thanked the president for appointing a brilliant young man to head a very important government agency like the CAC.
The Senate Committee noted with delight the digital transformation process of the Commission under the leadership of the RG thereby contributing to the ease of doing business and the upsurge in the national revenue generation to the nation.
Hon. Fadahunsi described Alhaji Garuba Abubakar as a public servant with administrative suavity and robustness adding that he also remains committed to the ideals of integrity, transparency and accountability in the discharge of his statutory mandate as the Registrar General of the Commission.
The commendation came shortly after the Chairman Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, Senator Francis Fadaunsi, alongside other Senators visited the Commission’s Port Harcourt Office as part of their oversight function.
It will be recalled that Professor Yemi Osinbanjo signed a Presidential Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business in 2017 and CAC is taking appropriate steps to leverage on the provisions of the order by encouraging a seamless procedure for the registration of business entities. It became more dramatic and accentuated under the Present Registrar General, Alhaji Garuba Abubakar, who had come with over 17 years in service experience in the Commission on Management cadre and at one time a special Adviser to the erstwhile RG Mohammud Bello.
Digitization of the Companies Registry
The upgraded Company Registration Portal (CRP) is an end-to-end electronic registration solution which allows accredited customers and the general public to initiate and complete registration and post registration applications electronically as well as generate outputs remotely. This digital solution was to improve access to and reduce timelines for the Commission’s services while shrinking processes and standardizing service requirements.
Notable features of the upgraded CRP include:
Integration of data submission and document upload for seamless transactions;
Recognition of electronic signature; e-certificates with Quick Response (QR) Code for instant validation; and e-certified extracts with updated information and QR Code for instant validation.
The Commission also have introduced the Entity Electronic Account (EEA). The EEA is the online account that allows registered entities to submit documents and statutory returns to the Commission on the Company Registration Portal. The EEA aims to achieve for the registered entities, the following benefits amongst other: Reduction in the cost of submitting documents and statutory returns to the Commission by making the use of accredited agents optional; Reduction in service timelines through direct access to service; and elimination of signature for authentication of documents or returns submitted for filing. Hence any information, document or return submitted through the EEA shall be deemed duly authenticated.
The Introduction of LLP and LP Businesses
This is the new initiative of the Commission under the leadership of the RG, Barrister Garuba Abubakar. The Commission has also commenced the registration of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) and Limited Partnerships (LPs). To this end, it has deployed the registration interfaces for LLPs and LPs on the Company Registration Portal (CRP
The LLP is a partnership arrangement with legal personality separate from the partners. The liabilities of the partners of an LLP are limited to the amount agreed to be contributed or what is outstanding in the event of winding up. An LLP shall have at least two (2) “Designated Partners” who will be responsible for compliance with the requirements of the Act by the LLP. The Designated Partners shall be individuals at least one of whom must be resident in Nigeria. The name of an LLP shall end with the word “Limited Liability Partnership” or the abbreviation “LLP”.
Upgrading Electronic Dynamics of the Company Registration Portal (CRP)
The Commission under the inspirational leadership of the RG, Garuba Abubakar has added distinguishing features for the submission of applications on the Company Registration Portal (CRP). The components include the following –
Bi-annual Statement of Affairs for Incorporated Trustees
Letter of Good Standing
Objections to the incorporation of Trustees and Company Limited by Guarantee
The Support Center is aimed at streamlining and tracking support requests from customers for enhanced efficiency. Each support request is assigned a unique ticket number which may be used to track the progress and resolution of the request (complaint) online. Complete archives and history of all support requests by a Customer are available for reference. A valid email address is required to submit a ticket.
The Bi-annual Statement of Affairs for Incorporated Trustees is required to be made up to the 30th day of June and 31st day of December each year and filed not later than the 15th day of July and the 15th day of January respectively.
New Products Facilitating Ease Of Doing Business
The commission has successfully embedded the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Tax Identification Number (TIN) on the certificate of registration for companies through the existing FIRS stamp duty portal, by implication it means that all Certificates issued by CAC will now carry FIRS Tax Identification Number.
RG’s Zeal for Personnel Motivation Relations
v The 2019 examination was held on the 10th October, 2020 at JAMB CBT Centres in Abuja, Kano and Lagos. A total of 394 staff sat for the 2019 promotion examination. The result of the examination was published the same day at the Commission’s website upon receipt from JAMB.
The MOU with JAMB was to enhance timeliness in the procedural rules for prompt promotion.
v Less interface with the Registry’s personnel
v Timely release and access to results from the examination JAMB centers.
v Facilitation of prompt promotion
v Prompt settlement of Promotion Benefits
The Commission under the supervision of the RG has continued to ensure that as many staff that qualifies for promotion have their cases for promotion brought before the Board of the commission for approval in consultation with the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
Critical staffs were presented with working tools that can help them to work from their respective homes as a prompt for employee productivity enhancement, effectiveness, efficiency and limitless of official working days.
Equity , fairness and performance Capability indexes have continued to inform the basis for transfers which has remained a routine matters in the Commission as enshrined in the Staff Condition of Service, in the course of duty a staff may be posted to any of the Commission’s offices around the country.
The Commission has just created a Revolving Loan Account pursuant to the approval of the Board and the budgeted sum will be credited into the account as cash flow permits.
On Staff Cooperative Loans, these are matters between the members and the Cooperative Society.
Management does not get involved in the activities of the Cooperative Society other than deducting the contributions of staff and remitting to the Society as part of ways of instituting saving culture amongst staff.
Publication of the Companies Regulations 2021
This is another creative ingenuity of the Registrar General of the Commission who has introduced the publishing of the Companies Regulations 2021 approved by the Honorable Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo upon recommendation by the Commission after extensive engagement with stakeholders.
The Regulations came into force on 1st January 2021 is to complement the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 (CAMA) in the conduct and regulation of registration under the Act.
Through the Regulations, filing fees for registration of all entities under the CAMA were reduced by the elimination of fees hitherto payable by Customers to obtain certified true copies of documents at registration. Certified extracts of entities’ information at registration are now issued by the Commission at no cost to Customers.
The Commission has provided its Approving Officers with modern working tools that enable them work from anywhere. Staffs work even on weekends and public holidays.
Alhaji Garba Abubakar A Quintessential Global Entrepreneur
The Registrar Genera Alhaji Garba Abubakar led the Commission to participate at the 3 days Pakistani Business Investing Community Event in Nigeria to enable the staff of the Commission scale up sales marketing to target audience of exhibitors /participants.
Some of the participants who spoke at the event described it as a unique opportunity and pledged to utilize the opportunity provided by the interactive session to invest in the domestic national economy of the country.
No fewer than 30 companies indicated their willingness to set up their investment in Nigeria.
As the campaign for Open government initiative increases worldwide, barrister Abubakar is quickly following after this trend with a vision of institutionalizing the Open Government initiatives (OGP) at the CAC.
Under his watch CAC received a grant of USD $400,000 from the world Bank under the OGP multi-Donor Trust Fund for the development and deployment of electronic register.
INTERNALLY GENERATED REVENUE SURGED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A DECADE
According to the Registrar General of the Commission, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic that affected economic activities in all prominent sectors of the economy, the Commission recorded an increase in the registration of businesses and other corporate entities during the year.
The year in view was one of our best years in terms of IGR as we recorded a surge in registration above the previous years. We had projected a revenue target of 18.2 Billion for the year 2020 , but this was surpassed to 19 Billion. For the first time in more than a decade, we are able to give more money to the Federal Government as operating surplus remittance.
According to the Alhaji Garba Abubakar, with the new CAMA law, it is now easier for companies to file their returns without going through any lawyer, accountant or chartered secretary.
“With the new portal, a company can decide to have its own electronic account that will allow it to make all its fillings directly.
“The new portal also shows at a glance the status of a company, whether it is active, dormant, receivership or liquidation.
“We have given access to most government agencies and foreign missions in Nigeria to confirm the status of companies and we will continue to do that stressed the Registrar General.
“Before they deal with any registered company, they will verify if such company is actually an active company and whether the information provided by such company is consistent with the CAC records,” stated the Registrar General of the Commission
It will be recalled that within the first year of his appointment, RG Garuba Abubakar overhauled the time consuming, laborious manual registration procedure at the CAC.
Alhaji Garba Abubakar was called to the bar at the age of 23 years, he joined CAC in April of 2004 as a Principal Manager and served as Special Adviser to the immediate RG Muhammadu Bello from Aug 2010-October 2017.
This write up is by Dele S Dina
Dele Dina Lives in Abuja