KNOW THE LAW 05/09/2023
How to Register an NGO in Nigeria
An Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) is non-profit making body, association of people, or organization that functions independent of the government. In Nigeria, NGOs can be registered as an incorporated trustee under part F of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020.
WHICH BODY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REGISTRATION OF NGOs IN NIGERIA?
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the body responsible for the registration, regulation and supervision of all businesses, companies or association of persons in Nigeria.
By virtue of the CAMA (2020) as amended, the powers of the Commission has been expanded to include conducting investigation into the affairs of NGOs, obtaining court ordered suspension of trustees, appointment of interim managers and restriction on their financial transactions. See section 8 (1) (c) & section 839(1).
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTERING AN NGO WITH THE CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION?
The documents required to register an NGO in Nigeria are:
- A minimum of three proposed names for registration
- Particulars of trustees consisting of the Chairman and secretary such as name, residential address, date of birth, email, phone number, e.t.c
- Copies of passport photograph of trustees
- Copies of valid Government issued ID card of trustees (e.g Driver’s license, International passport, National ID card or Permanent Voter’s card)
- Extract of the minutes of the general meeting appointing the trustees and where the special clause rule was adopted into the constitution of the organization, signed by the chairman and the secretary. .
- Trustee declaration form duly deposed to by each trustee in any high court in Nigeria
- Original newspaper publication in two National dailies
- Evidence of payment of prescribed fee.
WHO CAN BE APPOINTED A TRUSTEE OF AN NGO?
In Nigeria context, anybody can be appointed a trustee provided they are not;
- Persons of unsound mind
- Un-discharged bankrupt
- A person who has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty within five years of his proposed appointment. Section 826 (1) of CAMA 2020.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR REGISTERING AN NGO IN NIGERIA?
The following are the steps to register an NGO with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
- Choose the NGO name. When choosing a name, make sure the name has connection/matches with the goals and objects of the organization. Three names or more are needed should in case the first one is rejected.
- Appointment of trustees. The trustees to be appointed must not be persons disqualified for any reason under the law.
- Seek Professional help. To avoid meeting problems you may not be able to handle in the course of cataloguing, it is important you engage the services of a professional lawyer who would assist with the registration processes. The solicitor will carry out the pre and post registration activities.
A professional will to a large extent assist with every other aspect that comes with the process such as; applying for consent to register an NGO with the available names, preparation of the constitution a minutes of the meeting, etc
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REGISTER AN NGO?
It may take up to 1-2 months to process the entire registration. This is largely due to the 28 days requirement for newspaper publication. Once your application has been received, such application will be considered and thereafter, the certificate will be issued provided the application meets the requirements.
HOW MANY NUMBERS OF TRUSTEES ARE REQUIRED TO REGISTER AN NGO IN NIGERIA?
By virtue of section 823 (1), a minimum of two trustees are required to register an NGO. By the extant CAMA, the application must clearly state who is appointed as the Chairman of the organization and the Secretary among the trustees.