Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on Wednesday announced that 50,000 companies will soon be delisted for failing to file their annual returns.
The Registrar General of CAC, Mr. Bello Mahmud disclosed this in an interview granted the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
According to Mahmud, the defaulters will be delisted after due notification through different channels of communication as prescribed by law.
He disclosed that 9,347 companies had so far been delisted by the commission since inception for failing to file their annual returns.
According to him, 623,659 out of a total of over 1.2 million registered companies which represents 49 percent of the total in the country had not filed their annual returns.
Mahmud said that the 623,659 companies, which represents 49 percent of the total number, were those that “have not filed a single return since their registration’’.
“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,’’ he added.
NAN reports that Section 370 to Section 378 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990 provides for the filing of annual returns by companies and prescribe 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.