The Registrar-General of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Mr. Garba Abubakar, on Wednesday disclosed that the commission collected more than N19 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruptions to economic activities nationwide.
Abubakar, during a media chat in Abuja, explained that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission recorded an increase in businesses and other corporate entities’ registration during the year.
He explained: “The year 2020 was one of our best years in terms of revenue generation as we recorded a surge in registration above the previous year. We had a revenue target of N18.2 billion, but we closed here with over N19 billion.
“For the first time in the last 10 years, we are able to give more money to the Federal Government in terms of operating surplus.
“We are hoping that we will meet our target for 2021 because where there is increased compliance by customers, there will be an increase in the revenue for the government.
“Transactions are now easily carried out with the electronic system, as you pay through the remittal on our portal, without paper works”, the Registrar General added.
Abubakar was optimistic that the commission would surpass the N20 billion revenue target this year by leveraging most of its operations on electronic systems transactions.
The Registrar General noted that over the past year of his assumption of office, CAC had been radically transformed for improved services.
For instance, he said the commission had successfully embedded the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Tax Identification Number (TIN) on the certificate of registration for companies through the existing FIRS Stamp Duty portal.
Similarly, Abubakar pointed out that the commission had commenced the implementation of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA 2020) with the introduction of a new self-service portal that allowed for end-to-end electronic submission by customers.
He explained that the new CAMA 2020 provided a robust framework towards tackling identified legal, regulatory and administrative bottlenecks, all of which, he said, had constrained the agency in delivering on its mandate with speed over the past three decades of its existence.
Despite the modest achievements, the Registrar-General noted that inherited financial liabilities and the COVID-19 pandemic were some of the challenges contended with by the management in the past year.
Abubakar recalled: “The challenges we had last year was the inherited liabilities, as I took over with over N6 billion liabilities, and also had challenges of service delivery because of the COVID-19 restrictions.
“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we were registering company and business names within 24 hours, but the pandemic and the various restrictions to curb the spread of the disease affected our service delivery,” he added.
On the commission’s agenda for 2021, the Registrar General hinted that one of the major issues to pursue would be to build strengthen the commission’s collaboration with relevant agencies and intensify the enforcement of the provisions of the new CAMA.
This is even as he advised all registered entities on compliance with the new CAMA 2020 on the filing their annual returns and other statutory duties to the commission.
According to him, with the new law, it is now easier for companies to file their returns without going through any lawyer, accountant or chartered secretary.
He said: “With the new portal, a company can decide to have its own electronic account that will allow it to make all its fillings directly. The new portal also shows at a glance the status of a company, whether it is active, dormant, receivership or liquidation.
“We have given access to most government agencies and foreign missions in Nigeria to confirm the status of companies and we will continue to do that.
“Before they deal with any registered company, they will verify if such company is actually an active company and whether the information provided by such company is consistent with the CAC records”, he added.
Abubakar further hinted that the commission was working out modalities for granting amnesty on annual returns to companies and other registered entities and that the modalities would be announced before the end of the first quarter of this year.