Legal requirements for doing business in Nigeria,
especially in the Niger Delta Region
Professor Emeri, Deputy Director of South South Law School, Yenagoa spoke on the legal requirements of doing business in Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta Region. He cautioned that youths of the Niger Delta Region must plan for tomorrow, if they must succeed.
He stated that the registration of business in Nigeria was the sole responsibility of Corporate Affairs Commission, with Headquarters in Abuja and branch Offices at the State level.
One may also wish to go to accredited agents like lawyers, chartered secretaries accountants etc. for that purpose.
He opined that two or more persons may form or incorporate a company when they fulfill certain requirements. If you are the promoter of the proposed company, you need to prepare your documents to be sent to the corporate Affairs Commission.
According to the Professor, when your documents have been processed you now have a company, with name, address, what you do as well as what business your company will carry out.
He further stated that for a limited liability company you do not set up such a company with a name that looks like another one. The law does not allow your company’s name to appear like that of government which may suggest that Government is in a business with you.
Name reservation is done for someone who wants to float a company.
Again, some companies are limited by shares e.g X, Y, Z Nigeria Ltd. while, some large companies are limited by guarantees. Other big companies are unlimited e.g Mobil. Yet there are other bigger companies like coca-cola, classified as Plc.
It is instructive to note that members of a company are subscribers to that company. He said one could apply for expatriates abroad to do business with one’s company. The professor of Jurisprudence warned promoters of business name to be specific in what line of business they are interested and to avoid being amorphous e.g general trading.
Mr. Johnson Chukwu lectured participants about opportunities available at the Nigeria capital market.
He stated that since the 1970s, Nigeria has depended on oil, saying that crude oil is a wasting asset. He cited examples of Japan the 3rd biggest economy in the world that was not built with oil money, even China was not left out in this scenario of countries that did not build their economy with oil money. Mr. Chukwu warned that Nigeria had been held down by oil money for a long time and that it was time to shake off that yoke and face the reality of the day.
He posed such questions as how do we direct our pessimism as Niger Delta youths to the right channels, how do we take advantage of the oil and gas sector to benefit us, how many of us youths are in oil services companies, how many of us are oil and gas marketers and what do we do to prepare ourselves for the future.
He warned that it was high time, we direct our energy to opportunities available outside oil and gas sector, stating that there are several Mineral Resources with deposits e.g lime stone, in the Niger Delta Region which beckons for exploration.
Mr. Chukwu estimated that the population of the Niger Delta Region hover around 34 million, close to the population of Britain, saying that our close door neighbour Ghana has 20 million people and that by the year 2020 the population of Niger Delta Region would be twice that of Ghana. He pointed out that in the 70s and 80s a lot of Ghanaians were shoe shiners in Nigeria. He blamed our leaders for the woes confronting Nigeria today.
He said that a lot of Niger Delta Youths have died fighting for a change. But the pertinent question to ask as a youth is: How do I fight for a change and take advantage of it, when it comes? Should oil and gas be domesticated? What do I need to be a partaker with the resources in my backyard?
Chukwu said he perceived a flawed educational standard in the Niger Delta region and warned that youths from that zone should grab education with their two hands because it was the panacea to extricate themselves from poverty. Mentioning improved and higher educational qualifications, skills beyond basic reading and writing as tools to improve their living standards.
He was full of regrets that even with our teaming population of youths, artisans with the requisite skills were hard to come by and that elsewhere, they are highly sort after, with mouth watering remuneration.
The lecturer, turning to Niger Delta Youths, cautioned that beyond oil and gas, they should acquire technical skills to enable them fit into the ever changing and challenging society. # # #
(To be continued in the next edition)
By Azuka Dibie