No NIN, No Business Registration in Nigeria – CAC Registrar

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ABUJA -(BPSR Report) – The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has said that henceforth, the National Identification Number (NIN) will be a prerequisite for business registration in Nigeria. CAC also said that it now regards the NIN number as the most important document required for the registration of new businesses, so as to verify the integrity of business registration applicants.

The publicity from the Acting Head of Strategic Communication in BPSR, Aliyu Umar Aliyu on Monday 5th December 2022 noted that the Commission’s Registrar, Alhaji Garba Abubakar made this known in Abuja during the monthly Lunch Time Seminar organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR).

He further indicated that the seminar had the theme: ‘Current Reforms, Innovations and Challenges of the Corporate Affairs Commission, and their Impact on the Growth of Nigerian Economy’. Garba Abubakar explained that they opted for NIN because its security can’t be compromised, unlike the National Identity card, international passport and drivers’ licence that could easily be cloned.

According to him, if one doesn’t have a NIN, it means one can’t register his or her company, so the essence is to verify the integrity of the data being collected. He continued that the Commission has introduced several reforms that have reduced the period of company registration to 24 hours, adding that as such, CAC registers an average of 2,000 companies every week. He inferred that it is not just enough to register as companies have to file their returns.

The registrar iterated that the amended Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) has eased the process of ownership of businesses in the country. Also, the Act has introduced limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships which now provide additional options for entrepreneurs and law firms.

“CAC has also been using its new online system and database to keep track of active or inactive companies. Those that have filed their returns up to date are classified as ‘Active’, and those that have not filed their returns up to date are classified as ‘Inactive,” he confessed.

“Companies that hitherto did not file for 20 to 30 years are coming forward to clear these backlogs.”

Earlier in his opening remarks, the BPSR DG, Dasuki I. Arabi said that the current CAC administration has brought about a lot of changes and gradually transformed its services from analogue to digital. He also said that effective from 1st January 2023, manual filings of documents and returns shall be stopped and filing of documents and returns at its registry will be through the portal only.

Arabi stressed that as part of the recent reforms initiated by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to modernize its operations and increase the ease of doing business, the CAC recently launched its digital platform (portal) and had indicated that effective from 31st December 2021, manual filings of documents and returns shall be discontinued and filing of documents and returns at its registry will be through the portal only.

“In this period of change and challenge, the Corporate Affairs Commission will increasingly be called upon to bring the ‘outside perspective’ to corporate strategy development and to navigate the complex and competing priorities of different stakeholders. There is always room for improvement in reform initiatives,” he hinted.

The BPSR DG adhered that CAC was established in 1990 under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990 to among other things, regulate and supervise the formation of companies; establish and maintain a company registry; and arrange and conduct an investigation into the affairs of any company in Nigeria due to some perceived issues regarding inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the former organization in charge of Company Registry in Nigeria.


Aliyu Umar Aliyu
Acting Head of Strategic Communication, BPSR