In January 2023, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria issued a memo outlining new requirements for the registration of companies, including Business Name and Incorporated Trustee Registrations. The memo mandated that starting from January 2023, only the National Identification Number (NIN) would be acceptable as a form of identification for registration. This requirement applied to shareholders, directors, secretaries, and any other relevant person involved in the registration process.
The memo was aimed at ensuring that the information on the registration documents is accurate and up-to-date, thereby reducing the incidence of fraudulent activities in the registration process. The requirement for NIN is also in line with the Federal Government’s push for a National Identification System and the need to harmonize data across various agencies and institutions.
The CAC memo generated mixed reactions from stakeholders, with some welcoming the move as a step towards improved transparency and accountability, while others expressed concerns about the challenges of obtaining NIN and the potential impact on the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
The suspension of the NIN single identification
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on Monday, 20 February 2023 announced the suspension of the National Identification Number (NIN) as the sole form of identification for company registration in Nigeria. Initially, the CAC had mandated that starting from January 2023, NIN would be the only acceptable form of identification for the registration of companies, including Business Name and Incorporated Trustee Registrations. However, due to some challenges complained by stakeholders in the registration process, the CAC has suspended the requirement for the mandatory use of NIN for business registrations to March 1, 2023.
One of the primary reasons for the suspension was to allow would be shareholders, directors and business owners more time to obtain their NIN, as some stakeholders had complained of the long wait times and delays in getting the NIN.
The suspension of the NIN deadline also provides an opportunity for the CAC to address some of the challenges that stakeholders have encountered in the registration process. For example, the CAC could work with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to increase the number of NIN registration centers or provide more resources to expedite the NIN registration process as well as business registration process.
Why Must Individuals And Corporate bodies Enroll for their NIN Before the New Date Expires ?
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria has mandated that starting from March 1, 2023, the National Identification Number (NIN) will be the only acceptable form of identification for company registration, including Business Name and Incorporated Trustee Registrations. As such, it is imperative for both individuals and business owners to obtain their NIN before the deadline to avoid any delays or penalties in the registration process.
The NIN is a unique identification number issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to Nigerian citizens, legal residents, and legal entities operating in the country. The NIN serves as a means of identifying individuals and entities and can be used for various purposes, including banking transactions, SIM registration, and now, company registration with the CAC.
Obtaining the NIN is a straightforward process that requires individuals to visit an NIMC enrollment center with valid identification documents, such as a Nigerian passport, driver’s license, or voter’s card.
The need for individuals and intended business owners to obtain their NIN before the March 1, 2023 deadline cannot be overemphasized. Failure to do so may result in delays in the registration process, which can have adverse effects on business operations. It is also important to note that non-compliance with the new registration requirements may attract penalties, including the suspension of registration or the revocation of a company’s certificate of incorporation.
In addition to avoiding penalties and delays, obtaining the NIN is beneficial to both individuals and intended business owners, as it provides a means of identification that is recognized by various government agencies and institutions. The NIN can also help to reduce identity theft and fraud, as it serves as a unique identifier that cannot be duplicated.
Implications of non-compliance with the NIN requirement
The CAC memo on NIN requirements for company registration has presented an opportunity for the Nigerian government to harmonize data across various agencies and institutions. With the NIN being the only acceptable form of identification for company registration, it is expected that the government will be able to track the activities of companies and individuals more effectively.
This move will help to reduce the incidence of fraudulent activities in the registration process, which has been a major challenge in the past. By ensuring that the information on the registration documents is accurate and up-to-date, the government can provide a more conducive environment for business operations and attract more investors to the country.
Furthermore, the use of the NIN for company registration aligns with the government’s push for a National Identification System, which will help to streamline various government services and eliminate duplication of efforts. This will improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria and enhance the country’s ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business Index.
In addition, the NIN requirement for company registration will help to promote financial inclusion, as it provides a means of identification that can be used for banking transactions. This will encourage more individuals and businesses to participate in the formal financial system, which will help to drive economic growth and development in the country.
The CAC has taken the significant step to suspending the requirement for NIN as the sole form of identification for business registration in Nigeria. This suspension comes after series of shareholders, directors and intended business owners were denied registration following the delay or absence of their NIN.
The NIN sole identification requirement has been suspended till March 1, 2023, where the policy would be enacted strongly against all odds. It is advised that business owners without NIN must seek to acquire their NIN before registration can be done on the CAC platform.
Frequently asked questions
Why did the CAC suspend the NIN requirement?
The difficulty the policy caused to businesses seeking registration was overwhelming with several businesses petitioning the CAC through emails.
Can I register without NIN?
For now, yes, the NIN would be the sole registration identification as from 1st March 2023.