Nigeria’s Trade and Investment Minister Olusegun Aganga has approved the downward review of the cost of business registration at the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) from N50,000 to N15,000 ($100).
This reduction is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by Joel Attah, the Head of Media and Publicity Unit of the NIPC. The new rate, according to the statement, is designed to make Nigeria highly competitive in line with international best practices. It stated that the downward review was at the instance of NIPC and also 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. This is expected to substantially enhance the country’s National Competitiveness as a Foreign Direct Investment Destination (FDI),’" the minister stated. It stated that the NIPC was established by Act No. 16 of 1995 to promote, encourage and coordinate investment in Nigeria. It noted that Section 4(a) of the Act mandates the commission to register and keep records of all enterprises with foreign equity participation. "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.’"
This, it stated, was in line with Section 20(1) and (2) of the NIPC Act, adding that failure to do so would amount to violation of the law. The Section states: "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 the NIPC management had put in place machinery under the instrumentality of the One Stop Investment Centre (OSIC) for a 24-hour time-frame for completion of the process. This, according to the statement, is part of the management’s efforts to fast track the registration of companies under the provision of the law. It advised any company that had not registered and is already in business to come to NIPC at the OSIC to regularise and ensure compliance. "Registration of companies by NIPC is to ensure the tracking of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and also to provide hand holding support and facilitation to the investors in the course of doing business in Nigeria. It will also facilitate remittance of dividends and profits," the statement added.