HOW A FOREIGN INVESTOR CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE GROWING NIGERIAN ECONOMY BY REGISTERING AT THE CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION (CAC) AND NIGERIA INVESTMENT PROMOTION COMMISSION.
A Foreign Investor can participate in the growth of the Nigerian economy. It is immaterial whether such investment drive is motivated by an individual or a foreign corporate entity.
It is relatable based on the topic of discourse to take a critical look at some of the legal requirements such investor must fulfill in order not to be in constant brush with law enforcement agencies.
The first step a foreign investor has to take in order to participate in the bubbling Nigerian economy is to incorporate a company with the corporate affairs commission of Nigeria. The effect of carrying on Business without registration is that such investor will be guilty of a criminal offence and liable on conviction to a fine.
This requirement of the law does not limit or prohibit a foreign investor from suing to protect its rights and be sued where liable without registration in Nigeria.
Below are steps a Foreign Investor is expected to take to commence an investment drive in Nigeria.
- The foreign investor has to locate a Corporate lawyer in Nigeria and give him or her all necessary instructions such as the name of the company, business of the company, share capital, email, phone number, means of ID of share holders, proposed registered address, subscribers to the memorandum and articles of association etc.
- The legal practitioner will conduct an availability and reservation of name
- After the name is reserved, all incorporation information and documents will be submitted through the commission’s web portal as well as all relevant filing fees and stamp duties receipt.
- At this stage, a certificate of incorporation is issued as a prima facie evidence of incorporation.
The next step an investor equipped with a certificate of incorporation will take in actualizing his or her dreams of reaping from the enormous resources in Nigeria will be to register with NIPC.
Section 20 of the NIPC Act requires all enterprises in which foreign participation is permitted to apply to the Commission for business registration. All foreigners may invest and participate in the operations of any enterprise in Nigeria, except for enterprises engaged in activities on the negative list defined by section 31 of the NIPC Act. As such, all enterprises are required to register their businesses with NIPC unless engaged in activity on the negative list.
The fundamental nature of registering with Nigerian investment promotion commission is for the government to have a complete data of foreign companies operating in Nigeria as well as to have a harmonized tax incentive system. The following are procedure for registration with NIPC:
A Corporate Legal practitioner handling the brief will be required to visit NIPC to obtain an NIPC Form 1. Once the Form is duly completed, it has to be returned to the Commission with the following documents
1. Memorandum & Articles of Association
2. Evidence of Incorporation
3. CAC Form 1.1 (or CAC Forms CO2 and CO7 for old companies)
4. Power of Attorney/ Letter of Authority (where applicable)
5. Evidence of Payment of Processing fee of N15, 000.00 through www.remita.net.
In conclusion, investing in Nigeria is an experience any Foreign Investor will cherish as a result of the enormous human and natural resources gifted to the Country by Mother Nature. Be it in Agriculture, Natural Mineral resources extraction, Manufacturing, oil and gas, importation, etc the Labour required to ensure that profit is maximized in enormously available and cheap.
I will finish this piece with this parting line “Investment is an asset or item that is purchased with the hope that it will generate income or appreciate in the future.