CAC delists 38,000 firms for not filing 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.

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

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

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

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

He stated, “The law 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 the register.

“But by striking off, it doesn’t 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.”

Mahmud added that the CAC had proposed amendments to the Companies and Allied Matters Act 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 practices.

He gave some of the key areas that are being amended to include the right of one person to form a private limited liability company; and provision for business rescue and recovery proceedings that would give temporary moratorium to financially distressed companies to adopt recovery measures under closed regulatory supervision.

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