INVEST IN NIGERIA
Nigeria was proclaimed Africa’s largest economy in 2014, following the rebased calculation of its Gross Domestic Products – GDP to capture hitherto undervalued or neglected sectors such as its flourishing entertainment industry (Nollywood and Nigerian Music) and Information and Communications Technology – ICT. Nigeria’s GDP then totaled over 510 billion dollars. The GDP has also been registering an impressive growth rate in recent years, exceeding 6% annually. Nigeria is one of Africa’s most attractive destinations for investors. Besides the diverse natural resources it is endowed with, Nigeria disposes of a huge human capital, with trained and qualified professionals readily available at competitive costs in the employment market. Investors would also be impressed by the array of investment incentives they can take advantage of in various sectors. Nigeria, investors would quickly discover, is a market characterised by the high return on investment it offers. Nigeria’s investment environment is supported by strong and reliable financial institutions and government agencies.
NIGERIAN INVESTMENT PROMOTION COMMISSION
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) is a Federal Agency charged, among others, with coordinating, monitoring and providing necessary assistance and guidance for the establishment and operation of enterprises in Nigeria. It is not only the gateway to investment in Nigeria for foreign investors and Nigerian investors seeking to engage in value-added activities in their country, but also Nigeria’s window to the international investment world. It is a Federal Agency with a perpetual succession and a common seal. NIPC collects, collates, analyze and disseminates information and data on investment opportunities and sources of capital. It advises on business partnership and identifies specific projects in which potential investors can be solicited to participate.
The NIPC registers and keeps records of all companies to which the NIPC Act applies. It maintains the interaction between investors and ministries, government departments and agencies, financial institutions and other authorities concerned with investments. It anchors the One-Stop Investment Centre (OSIC) which interfaces with companies on incorporation and registration matters. www.nipc.gov.ng
ONE STOP INVESTMENT CENTRE-OSIC
Established in 2006 within the framework of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), One-Stop Investment Centre (OSIC), as its name indicates, is an organ set up to facilitate investment in all sectors of Nigeria’s economy. It provides a single portal or contact point for sourcing information and carrying out the necessary formalities with a view to obtaining all the required approvals before the operation of a business. OSIC brings together the divers services normally provided separately by various government agencies involved in company registration and operations formalities. It is a point of convergence for coordinated and streamlined action. The centre also assists existing and prospective investors with statistical data and information on the Nigerian economy, investment climate, legal and regulatory framework, as well as sector and industry- specific information, to facilitate the making of informed business decisions.
Services offered by OSIC include:
• Providing general information and data on Nigeria’s economy, as well as advisory services on investment opportunities;
•Granting of business entry approvals, permits and authorisations;
•Assisting with company incorporation and registration;
•Facilitating post-entry approvals, licences and other sector-specific permits with statutory government agencies with extant mandate;
• Assisting with tax registration and clearance;
• Assisting with work permit, expatriate quota and other immigration formalities;
• Facilitating Customs clearance for investment projects. OSIC brings together, for speedy service delivery, several agencies and ministries, among others.
BUSINESS INCOR PORATION AND REGISTRATION: A MANDATORY REQUIREMENT
All businesses in Nigeria must be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission before going formally into operation. Registration can take various forms as follows, depending on the type of business:
•Private Limited Liability Company (Ltd)
•Public Limited Company (PLC)
•Company Limited by Guarantee
•Subsidiary or Branch of a foreign company
•Partnership or Joint Venture
•Incorporated Trustees (religious, charitable, philanthropic or cultural)
• Representative Office (in special cases)
A minimum share capital of Ten Thousand Naira (N10 000) is required to set up a private company (Limited Liability). For a Public Company (PLC) the required minimum share capital is five hundred thousand naira, (500,000 Naira). A minimum subscription of 25% of the authorised capital is also required at the point of incorporation.
Company Registration Process
Company Registration process has been streamlined and simplified to enhance efficiency and rapidity, with the establishment of the One-Stop Investment Centre (OSIC), located in the premises of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). Through the services of OSIC, companies can now be registered in a matter of days. However, companies which so wish can engage the services of a legal counsel to perform the registration formalities, although this may attract a substantial fee. The following are the main steps in the process of company registration:
• Prepare the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the proposed company.
• Conduct at the Corporate Affairs Commission availability search on the proposed name of the company; once the company name is approved, a set of incorporation forms should be purchased and filled; the registration of business name can be conducted without the assistance of a legal practitioner and attracts a fee of 10,000 Naira (Ten Thousand Naira).
• Submit appropriate documents to the Federal Inland Revenue Service for payment of stamp duties and stamping.
• Submit the completed and stamped documents with together with the corresponding permits to the CAC for verification and final approval.
•The Certificate of Incorporation is then issued, with the accompanying Certified True Copies of relevant documents to the investor. All post-registration processes are done at the Head Office of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) where all files are kept in safe custody and data entered on the CAC records.
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