The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria has stated that over 100,000 companies are at risk of being removed from its register for failing to file annual returns. The CAC Registrar-General, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, announced this during a training on the beneficial ownership register in Lagos. Companies that do not file annual returns will be affected, but they can request to be relisted if they settle outstanding debts and provide a court order. The CAC aims to enforce this action to ensure compliance and encourage timely payment of annual returns. The CAC also highlighted the importance of the beneficial ownership register in combating corruption and terrorism financing.
Over 100,000 companies registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, in Nigeria are at risk of losing their place in the commission’s register.
This means that these companies will no longer be considered “viable” or registered business entities in the country.
During a recent training on the ‘Use of the Beneficial Ownership Register’ in Lagos, the Registrar-General of CAC, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, disclosed that the commission will soon carry out an exercise to remove these companies from the register.
According to Abubakar, only companies that fail to file an annual return will be affected. These 100,000 companies have failed to file their annual returns for the past 10 years.
Abubakar stated, “CAC steps up enforcement of 100,000 companies to go off its register for failure to file an annual return.”
He emphasized that the commission will notify the affected companies before taking action, as stipulated in section 692 of the CAMA, 2020.
Abubakar advised companies to pay their annual returns on time to avoid being struck off the register. If companies clear their outstanding debts and provide a court order, they can request to be relisted with the commission.
An annual return is a mandatory requirement that every business name, company, or incorporated trustee in Nigeria must submit to the CAC at least once every year. It informs the commission that the organization is still active and in existence.
The Registrar-General also highlighted the significance of Africa’s first Beneficial Ownership Register (BOR), built by the CAC with support from the World Bank. He emphasized that the BOR will help combat corruption, money laundering, and terrorism financing.
Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law, Dr. Adeyeye Adefulu, commended the CAC for achieving this milestone. He encouraged members to utilize the knowledge gained from the training for the benefit of the Nigerian economy, which has faced numerous challenges recently.
President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, Aminu Gwadabe, supported the importance of the BOR in fighting money laundering and terrorism financing. He cautioned professionals to exercise due diligence when dealing with clients.