VENTURES AFRICA – In line with international best practices, Nigeria Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga has approved the reduction of business registration at the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) from N50,000 to N15,000 ($100) – amounting to a 70 percent cut – to encourage entrepreneurship in the country.
According to a statement signed by the Head of Media and Publicity Unit, NIPC, Joel Attah; the new rate in line with the desire of the Federal Government to improve the country’s competitiveness in doing business rating.
“It is also a very bold attempt at lowering the cost of doing business in Nigeria,” Attah said.
“This is expected to substantially enhance the country’s National Competitiveness as a Foreign Direct Investment Destination (FDI).’’
Thus, “In the light of this development, both new and existing investors are enjoined to take advantage of this gesture to ensure that they are duly registered with the commission,’’ the statement reads.
The NIPC was established by Act No. 16 of 1995 to promote, encourage and coordinate investment in Nigeria. Section 4(a) of the Act mandates the commission to register and keep records of all enterprises with foreign equity participation.
However, in line with Section 20(1) and (2) of the NIPC Act, failure to do so would amount to violation of the NIPC Act.
Section 20 of the NIPC Act states that “an enterprise in which foreign participation is permitted under Section 17 of this Act shall, before commencing business, apply to the commission for registration.”
“The commission shall within 14 days from the date of receipt of completed registration forms, register the enterprise if it is satisfied that all relevant documents submitted or otherwise advise the applicant accordingly.’’
The statement stressed that as part of NIPC’s effort to fast track the registration of companies, the commission had put in place machinery under the instrumentality of the One Stop Investment Centre (OSIC) for a 24-hour time-frame to complete the business registration processes.
NIPC advised any company that had not registered and is already in business to come to the commission at the OSIC to regularise and ensure compliance.