CAC delists 38,000 companies for failing to file returns

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Corporate Affairs Commission on Tuesday said it had delisted the names of over 38,000 companies from its register for failing to file annual returns to the commission.

The Registrar-General, CAC, Mr Bello Mahmud, stated this while speaking during a chat with journalists in Abuja

He said that the delisting of the companies have been gazetted by the commission, adding that only the court can give an order for the companies to be readmitted into the register of the commission.

By delisting of these companies by the CAC, it implies that such companies are no longer registered entities in Nigeria and as such not recognised by law.

Bello said that some of the companies that were delisted may have not been liquidated, adding that based on the provisions of the law, the companies have up to 20 years to reapply for re-registration.

He said, “The laws says that if the commission has reasonable cause that the company is not carrying on business while in operation, then it has to enquire from that company and if no response is received within three months, the commission can proceed to strike off the name of the registered company.

“We have just gazetted a little above 38,000 companies and those companies have been struck off from the register.

“But by striking off, it doesnt mean the companies have been dissolved. The companies have been more or less suspended and they cannot go back to business unless they obtain an order of court to re-list. The law gives them a window of 20 years within which they can apply for re-list.”

He said the CAC has carried out an amendment of the Companies and Allied Matters Act which is expected to strengthen the regulatory and enforcement powers of the commission.

He lamented that the CAMA which established the CAC had been in operation for over 20 years, noting that the amendment was needed to enable the commission keep pace with changing business practice.

He gave some of the key areas that are being amended to include the right of one person to form Private Limited Liability Company; provision for business rescue and recovery proceedings that will give temporary moratorium to financially distressed companies to adopt recovery measures under closed regulatory supervision.

Others are review of fines and penalties in line with current economic realities, and the removal of the clause that makes it compulsory to engage the services of a legal practitioner before a company can be registered.

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