By Lucy Ogalue
The Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Alhaji Garba Abubakar, says funding is one of the major challenges of the commission.
Abubakar told newsmen in Abuja that the recent government policy was not favourable and had impacted negatively on the commission.
“The major challenge is funding. Government policies have actually impacted us. Before now, we were allowed to generate, spend and release the surplus to the government.
“But that policy has changed, we are limited to spending only 60 per cent of our revenue. 40 per cent is deducted automatically and paid in the account operating surplus to the government.
“So, it has been difficult, and this year has been very difficult.
“You have to pay staff. You have to maintain your systems; you have to pay your service providers, you have to pay for power,” he said.
According to Abubakar, the law requires the commission to have offices in all 36 states of the federation and the FCT, which it has complied with.
He said based on the number of states, more funds was required to service and manage the states.
He said: “You have to maintain these offices, power these offices, you have to clean these offices, you have security. So, it has been quite challenging but we are hoping that government will look into this.
“We have made a presentation. We are fully self-funding, we don’t get subvention from the government, so it has been quite challenging.”
The registrar-general said the commission had fully digitised and deviated from manual method of operations.
He said that the commission had deployed an electronic financial statement platform such that companies no longer had to scan and upload their financial statements.
He said the funding for the project was provided by the European Union Citizen for Change Programme.
According to him, the project has eased the burden for clients and can be used to query, to know the number of companies registered and their information.
“The portal is developed in line with the principles of extensible reporting language. We have just made some changes that allow you to upload the signatures of the directors as you are submitting the statement.
“So this has been a milestone, we will continue with our sensitisation and enlightenment, and most of the initiatives have actually been achieved,” he said.
According to Abubakar, people need to know what we are doing; they need to know what is required of them, particularly relating to beneficial management.
“So we are planning stakeholder engagement in all the geo-political zones in conjunction with the world bank to sensitise people.
“And we are encouraging other government agencies that do not have access to apply, so that we give them access to this database for them to use in their own work.
“This is government data. It is not our data; we are collecting this data, it is public data, and we have a responsibility to support other agencies in achieving their mandate.”