Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, Mr. Bello Mahmud, has promised to reprimand the management of 50,000 companies for failing to file their annual returns, threatening to delist them if urgent steps were not taken to address the situation.
Mr. Mahmud, disclosed this Friday, in Abuja, during an interactive session with Journalist explained that the defaulters would be delisted after due notification through different channels of communication as prescribed by law.
He disclosed that the commission had so far delisted 9,347 companies since inception for failing to file their annual returns.
According to him, 623,659 out of over 1.2 million registered companies in the country had not filed their annual returns.
Mahmud said that the 623,659 companies, which represent 49 per cent of the total number, were those, who “have not filed a single return since their registration.’’
He said that others were those in partial default of between two and four years, but he did not specify the number in this category.
Mahmud noted that the commission did not delight in deregistering companies because some of the defaults were due to economic reason.
The Registrar General said that was why the commission ensured that laid down procedure was followed to allow for remedy by defaulting companies before they were deregistered.
He, however, could not immediately specify the total revenue lost by government as a result of the defaults.
He said the commission had come up with a number of measures to ensure compliance, including enlightenment campaigns and engagement of revenue agents to advise erring companies.
“For the partial defaulters, we have decided to sweep their files under the carpet and deny them service until they update their annual returns records.
“Whenever they come to do any business with the commission like change of directors or increase in share capital, we won’t attend to them.
“This is one of the most appropriate steps we have now taken as punishment for those who haven’t filed.
“We are also going on enlightenment campaigns in electronic and print media as well as appointing revenue agents to go round and advise these companies to comply.
“We are going to make a publication and give the defaulters the last chance to file their returns, and if they fail to respond we will delist them.
“Delisting here doesn’t mean they are going forever. Some of them can go to court to say they are still in existence.
“If the court agrees with them, then they are required to update their records with the commission and pay the penalty fees before returning to business.”
Section 370 to Section 378 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA 1990, provides for the filing of annual returns by companies and prescribes penalties for default.
The law requires every registered company to file its first annual return 18 months after registration, and not later than 42 days after holding its annual general meeting for the year.
CAC currently charges between N1, 000 and N5, 000 as filing fees for annual returns, depending on the size of the company, while default attracts a penalty fee of N100 per day.


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