CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION: TOWARDS A MORE EFFICIENT SYSTEM[1]

I will start this piece by commending the Corporate Affairs Commission for the good work it has been doing in streamlining company registration in Nigeria not as a tokenistic endeavour. From ensuring almost paperless company registration to efficiency in company registration evidenced among others by the speed with which the Commission responds to applications for name reservation and for registration of companies, the Commission has been at the forefront in Nigeria’s improved position in the Ease-of-Doing Business ranking. I became particularly enamoured by the CAC when I had to get accredited by it. I was impressed by the customer service at its Alausa office.

However, in my recent experience of registering a company and a business name, my observation is that Corporate Affairs Commission is not efficient in identifying queries. I noticed that the Commission raises queries bit-by-bit. Let me explain, a query is raised by the Commission, the user of the Commission’s company registration platform corrects the query. Then, the Commission raises another query based on facts that had always been there when the first query was raised. It is my opinion that at the point of raising a query, every query that is glaring on the face of the company registration should be raised at once. Of course to achieve this, it may be necessary that members of staff in charge of confirming that applications for corporate registration meet the requirement of the Commission work in teams and are assigned specific files to see through until completion. Thus, anyone or any team who first addresses a file for company registration must be the one to address that file until the company is registered. I equally suggest that the Commission should equally track the rate at which a query is overlooked by its official only to then been raised later. This may give a clue as to the efficiency or otherwise of the official.

Furthermore, the Commission raised two sets of queries on my Company Registration: register objects B & C under Incorporated Trustees and kindly recouch the 2nd and 3rd object to make it an object. These are the relevant objects (subject to the need to provide necessary protection for the client):

a. To establish and manage a radio station and other media for the promotion of the culture … through songs, drama presentations, dance, live coverage of cultural events and otherwise.

b. To bring to the attention of relevant governmental authorities the challenges being faced by sons and daughters of…

c. To make its mass media fora the means through which togetherness and love … will be preached.

d. To maintain a data bank of cultural resources of …

e. To be at the forefront in the promotion of the good deeds of sons and daughters … all over the world through its mass media fora.

In the context of the queries as stated above, b & c are b & c of the objects while 2nd & 3rd are d & e of the objects stated above. The queries ultimately turned on the fact that the objects looked more like objects that were better fit for Incorporated Trustees. I respectfully beg to disagree. It is my humble submission that companies limited by shares as far as they have the objects of carrying on business and do not intend to apply their income and property solely to the promotion of its objects and are willing to pay or transfer portions of their income to members either directly or indirectly may have objects aimed at certain societal goals. Objects b, c, d & e are honourable and reflect the kind of contents the promoters of the company desire to use their proposed radio station to achieve. Say for instance, a radio company desires to promote actions that will reduce the effects of climate change. Would it be out of place to expressly state for instance in its object that: To make its mass media fora the means through which issues affecting climate change will be discussed. I submit with respect that there are no specific provisions guiding the objects a company limited by shares can have. As far as a proposed company limited by shares is to make profit, there should be no restriction as to the objects it can carry out.

If you are reading this, and you have interfaced with the CAC platforms, what do you think about my first and second suggestions? What has your experience been like using the platforms? Please kindly share.

[1] Oluwakemi S. Adeyemi Esq is an Associate at P O Bajowa Chambers, a law firm based in Lagos and his research interest covers litigation (trial and appellate courts), the institution of effective pension system that caters for present needs while preparing for the future, the interface between law and the economy of nations especially Africa, the development of an efficient and effective transportation model for Africa’s mega cities. He shares some of his thoughts on these issues and more via www.medium.com/@aolulaw17 and interfaces on Twitter via twitter.com/@aoluwakemi17. He may be reached via aolulaw17@gmail.com.

Legal Practitioner; Aspiring Economist