Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in partnership with the Ministry of Communications Technology has launched an online platform to simplify the process of launching a business.
The online portal allows entrepreneurs wishing to register their businesses to search name availability, submit names, and register and incorporate their businesses. It also provides post-incorporation services, and removes the need for individuals to physically visit the commission to register.
“Nigerians will no longer have to incur extra costs and will not travel to the CAC’s office to register their businesses,” said Nigeria’s minister of industry, trade and investment Dr Olusegun Aganga, who said the portal accommodated all payment gateways.
The process of registering a business in Nigeria previously involved filling in forms at the CAC, with the process needing to be repeated if a name was unavailable upon submission. Documents could then be collected after a number of days.
This convoluted system saw Nigeria ranked 129th worldwide for ease of setting up a business by Doing Business, and lagging behind other major African economies in that respect. Kenya introduced online business registration in February 2013, and in June last year made it possible to register a business via mobile. Online registration is also possible in South Africa.
African countries have been making steps forward in terms of ease of doing business over the last year, with Disrupt Africa reporting in October more than 70 per cent of Sub-Saharan economies had carried out reforms to improve the situation, according to a World Bank Group report.
The Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency report found of 230 regulatory reforms aimed at improving the ease of doing business in countries worldwide, 75 took place in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The region accounted for five of the top 10 most improved regulatory environments for the year spanning June 2013 to June 2014, with Benin, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Senegal and Togo featuring.