By Ikenna Uwadileke
Abuja – Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on Monday urged companies operating in the country to file in their annual returns as provided by the law or risk being de-listed from its register.
Mr Moses Adaguusu, Head Public Affairs, CAC, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the call became necessary in view of the need to keep the commission abreast of such companies that were still in operation or otherwise.
An annual return is a mandatory requirement every enterprise or incorporated trustees must file annually by delivering to CAC a return in the prescribed form containing specified matters related to the organisation in accordance with Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
“A very vital importance is that filing of the annual return by a company helps to simply keep the commission abreast that such company is still actively in operation and still engaging in business activities or otherwise,’’ Adaguusi said.
While emphasising that the Enforcement and Monitoring Department of the Commission would intensify efforts to ensure compliance, Adaguusi, however, urged companies to embrace voluntary compliance.
According to him, although, we go out on enforcement, we are not going like task force because the economy is difficult.
“We want companies to embrace voluntary compliance so that there won’t be penalties.
“Penalties run into millions of naira and that is enough to close a company,’’ he said.
Adaguusu expressed concern that rather than comply with filing annual returns to the CAC, some companies seek for waiver on penalties.
According to him, in extreme cases, the commission considers waivers on penalty.
He also pointed out that companies need to be up to date with CAC to enable them get registered with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).
Adaguusu said, “companies that execute contracts would have difficulties being paid if they are not registered with the BPP.
“Companies that want to do business must be on the Bureau of Public Procurement and before you are registered with BPP you must be up to date with CAC.
“This is another window that is encouraging companies to come and update with CAC,’’ Adaguusu said.
He, however, pointed out that the process of delisting companies from CAC’s register for failure to file annual returns is an ongoing process.
“It takes a process and it is ongoing.
“In 2008, 10 companies were deregistered and in 2016, 38 companies were also deregistered; so, it is a continuous process and there will be no need to leave companies that are not complying on the register,’’ Adaguusi said.
He emphasised that the task before the Monitoring and Enforcement Department was to ensure that companies do not only file their annual returns but stay away from sharp practices.
” For instance we will go from door to door to ensure that companies maintain the original names they used for registration.
“Also, the department will ensure that companies display their registration numbers in all their correspondence as well as indicate the list of directors.
“A company with a reputation will give people who want to do business with them a breath.
“On the contrary, where the directors are not know, people will be skeptical to do business with them,’’ Adaguusi said.
He further said that CAC would sustain efforts aimed at ensuring that the process of registering companies was devoid of hitches.
Adaguusu said that the upgrade of the Company Registration Portal (CRP) is to enhance the incorporation process.
The Company Registration Portal is the software that drives the operations of the commission.
The commission’s spokesman added that the move to upgrade the software was geared toward ensuring improved efficiency, provision of greater customer experience and ease of doing business.