No fewer than 40 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the country are yet to register their businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Acting Registrar-General of the commission, Azuka Azinge, has said.
However, he said over 69,000 businesses had been registered by the commission in the last two months on the premise of Federal Government’s Business Incentive Strategy (BIS) programme.
Speaking at an interactive session with the media at the weekend in Abuja, she said the BIS, an initiative set up to bridge the wide gap of unregistered businesses, was primarily to encourage small business operators register their business for a reduced cost of N5,000 rather than the approved N10,000 for three months ending at the end of December.
“The initiative was started to encourage formalization of over 40 million small and medium enterprises that are unregistered in Nigeria. You know what consequences that has bearing in mind the role that they play in any economy.
“So far, within these two months we have registered over 69,000 entities from October 1 till date. The whole idea was to bring in as many as possible and by the end of December we are hoping to still have a large number from what I am seeing in the data and the names that are being approved,” she said.
Excited about the positive results of the BIS and clamour for an extension from state governments and organisations, she noted that the commission was in talks with the ministry to extend the programme beyond December.
“There is a tremendous increase in the number of businesses being registered and we can say the initiative is a success. Already people are asking for an extension and we have just written to the minister to extend it for another three months.
“Both state governments and several organisations are asking for more time to enable them register,” she added. The CAC boss also clarified that no company was delisted this year, however explained that so far about 40,000 companies; 38,000 in 2016 and about 2,000 in 2014 were delisted by the commission.