The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has recently announced that it will require National Identification Numbers (NIN) from all shareholders, directors, secretaries, proprietors, trustees and relevant persons for Companies, Business Name and Incorporated Trustee registrations. This policy, which took effect on the 1st of January 2023, aims to promote transparency and curb illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing.
What is NIN and how does it affect business registration
NIN is a unique number that is issued to Nigerian citizens and legal residents by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). It is a requirement for accessing several government services and facilities, including the issuance of passports, driver’s licenses, and voter’s cards.
The CAC’s decision to adopt NIN for company registration has been met with mixed reactions from business owners and stakeholders. Some have welcomed the policy as a means of streamlining the registration process and reducing fraudulent activities in the business sector, while others have raised concerns about the potential challenges that may arise from obtaining NINs.
Previously, the CAC allowed registration using either the NIN, the international passport, drivers licence or voters ID- this flexible style allowed registering on the CAC platform easy, efficient and fast. Today, the CAC has adopted only the NIN for identification when registering or conducting business with it.
What this means for individuals and businesses registering with the CAC
For individuals and businesses registering with the CAC, the new policy of requiring NIN will mean that they must obtain and provide their unique identification number before they can be registered. This applies to new registrations as well as to existing companies that wish to make any changes to their registration.
The process of obtaining a NIN involves visiting a NIMC registration centre, providing a valid form of identification, and having your biometric data (such as fingerprints and facial recognition) recorded. Once the registration process is complete, individuals will receive their unique 11-digit NIN.
For businesses, each shareholder, director, and secretary will need to provide their NIN to the CAC during the registration process. This information will be used to verify the identity of each individual and to ensure that they are authorized to be involved in the business.
One potential benefit of this new policy is that it could help to reduce cases of identity theft and fraud in the business sector. By verifying the identity of each individual involved in a business, it becomes more difficult for criminals to use false identities to set up fraudulent companies or engage in illegal activities.
However, the new policy also means that individuals and businesses will need to be prepared to navigate the registration process with the NIMC and the CAC. They will need to ensure that they have all of the necessary documentation and information to obtain their NIN and complete the registration process with the CAC.
Challenges businesses may face with the new policy
While the CAC’s new policy of requiring NIN for company registration has been welcomed by many as a means of promoting transparency and accountability in the business sector, it also poses some challenges for businesses and individuals.
One major challenge is the logistics of obtaining NINs for all relevant persons involved in the business. As of 2022, only a fraction of Nigerians have been registered for NINs, and the process of obtaining them can be time-consuming and cumbersome. This could cause delays and other difficulties for businesses that need to register quickly or make changes to their registration.
Another challenge is the potential cost implications of obtaining NINs. While the registration process for NINs is free, individuals may incur costs related to transportation, documentation, and other related expenses. This could be a barrier for some individuals who are already facing financial challenges.
Further, there have been complains with some NINs not reflecting on the CAC platforms and has caused unnecessary delays in processing.
Despite these challenges, there are several steps that businesses and individuals can take to prepare for the new policy. This includes researching the registration process for NINs and ensuring that all necessary documentation is in order, such as valid forms of identification
Benefits of the new policy for the business sector
While the new policy of requiring NIN for company registration may present some challenges for businesses, it also has several potential benefits for the Nigerian business sector.
One key benefit is the potential to improve transparency and accountability in the business sector. By requiring NINs for all relevant persons involved in a business, the CAC can verify the identity of each individual and ensure that they are authorized to be involved in the business. This can help to prevent cases of identity theft, fraud, and other forms of financial crime.
Another potential benefit is the promotion of formalization and growth of Nigerian businesses. By requiring all businesses to register with the CAC and provide NINs for relevant persons, the government can better track and regulate the activities of businesses in Nigeria. This can help to create a more level playing field for businesses and promote the growth of the formal economy.
The new policy can also help to improve Nigeria’s business environment and attract more foreign investment. By increasing transparency and accountability in the business sector, the government can build greater trust with investors and demonstrate its commitment to creating a business-friendly environment.
How to obtain NIN for company registration with the CAC
To obtain a NIN for company registration with the CAC, individuals will need to visit the registration centre of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). At the registration centre, individuals will need to provide a valid form of identification, such as a national identity card, international passport, or driver’s license. In addition, they will need to have their biometric data (such as fingerprints and facial recognition) recorded.
Once the registration process is complete, individuals will receive their unique 11-digit NIN. They will then need to provide this number to the CAC during the registration process for their company. This applies to all relevant persons involved in the business, including shareholders, directors, and secretaries.
It is important to note that the process of obtaining NIN can be time-consuming and may involve significant travel and other related expenses. Individuals should therefore plan and ensure that they have all of the necessary documentation and information before visiting a registration centre.
They should also be prepared to navigate any potential challenges that may arise during the registration process.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If your NIN is missing, you can use your phone number to connect your NIN if your phone number was registered with the NIN.
Yes, the name, date of birth, occupation, sex and address on your NIN is automatically uploaded on the CAC platform and cannot be edited.