No fewer than 100,000 companies registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, in Nigeria are at risk of loosing their place in the commission’s register.
This means that the affected companies will upon the deletion, no longer be considered “viable” or registered business entities in the country.
CAC Registrar-General, Alhaji Garba Abubakar disclosed this during a recent training on the ‘Use of the beneficial ownership register’, in Lagos.
The CAC Boss who said the commission intends to carryout the exercise soon, revealed that only companies who fail to file an annual return will be affected.
According to him, 100,000 companies were due to be struck off by the Corporate Affairs Commission because they have failed to file their annual returns in the last 10 years.
He said, “CAC steps up enforcement of 100,000 companies to go off its register for failure to file an annual return.”
The CAC Boss noted that the commission as a responsible agent of the government, would notify the affected companies before embarking on the action as enshrined in section 692 of the CAMA, 2020.
Abubakar advised companies to ensure timely payment of their annual returns to avoid being struck off while telling participants at the training that the affected companies would still have the privilege of requesting to be relisted with the commission if they clear up their outstanding debts and if they provide a court order, as provided by the law.
An Annual return is a mandatory requirement that every business name, company or incorporated trustee in Nigeria must fulfil to the CAC at least once every year. It is filed inorder to let the commission know that the organisation is still active and in existence.
In many cases, annual returns are sourced from dividends, returns of capital and capital appreciation.
Meanwhile, speaking on Africa’s first Beneficial Ownership Register, built by the CAC with the support and assistance of the World Bank, the registrar general said it would go a long way in curbing corruption, money laundering, and terrorism financing.
Abubakar while justifying his claims, preached the values attached to using the BOR while discharging their duties.
He admonished all stakeholders, especially among those present at the event; investigating agencies, legal practitioners, journalists, and civil society organisations, to also imbibe the practice.
In his remark, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law, NBA-SBL, Dr Adeyeye Adefulu, commended the CAC for recording another important milestone in its history.
Adefulu said NBA-SBL would sustain its existing cordial relationship with the commission and charged members to make good use of the knowledge acquired at the training for the benefit of the Nigerian economy which suffered a myriad of downturn within the last few weeks and months.
On his part, President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, Aminu Gwadabe, upheld the first speaker’s assertion as he reiterated the importance of the BOR which he also said is essential to the Commission in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.
Gwadabe, however balanced it when he expressed knowledge on the downsides of the concept. He highlighted some of the dangers associated with money laundering and terrorism financing and advised professionals to apply due diligence while dealing with their clients.
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