Sanwo-Olu wants CAC to simplify registration for startups as deadline for PoS operators nears

The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has appealed to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to simplify its registration process, especially for startups and small businesses that might struggle to pay registration fees.

The Governor stated this on Thursday during a courtesy call on him by the Registrar-General of CAC, Mr Hussaini Magaji, at Alausa, Ikeja.

This appeal comes amid the struggle by Point of Sales (PoS) operators to meet the July 7, 2024 registration deadline set by the CAC.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, suggested that the CAC could adopt a model similar to the state tax card, which provided a database for the government to manage infrastructure needs without burdening businesses.

While expressing the state government’s willingness to collaborate with the CAC to ensure seamless registration of businesses in the state, he emphasized the need for more sensitization to correct the perception that registering with the CAC was difficult.

Enforcing PoS operators’ registration

In his remarks, the Registrar-General of CAC said the commission is determined to enforce compliance in the fintech industry to make sure that all PoS operators get registered. He noted that the PoS owners could register with CAC from anywhere in the country.

He expressed the commission’s willingness to collaborate with the state government to allow business owners to register with CAC through the state government at a consensual rate, as part of their support for micro, small, and medium enterprises.

Meanwhile, the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN), had recently condemned the mandated registration, describing it as an attempt to tax more Nigerians to generate revenue for the government

The National General Secretary of the group, Oluwasegun Elegbede, in a statement, discountenanced the CAC’s claim of fighting PoS crime through registration, noting that the types of crimes being committed through PoS cannot be tackled with registration.

Although the CAC claimed it had an agreement with representatives of the PoS operators before fixing the timeline for the mandatory registration, mobile money agents in the statement said:

“AMMBAN strongly disagrees with the recent directive by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) that all POS agents must register with it, regardless of their status as individuals or non-individuals.

“We believe this directive is unnecessary, contradictory to existing laws, and amounts to a mere revenue generation move to further tax hapless Nigerians.”

“We disagree with the CAC’s claim that it wants to fight crimes in the agency banking business space through registration. We believe that the kind of crimes in the space are both human and technical, which CAC registration cannot fight,” the group added.

The backstory

Earlier this May, the CAC announced that  PoS agents of major fintechs in Nigeria including OPay, Palmpay, and Moniepoint, among others, have been given a deadline of July 7, 2024, to register their business.

The Registrar-General of the CAC, Hussaini Magaji, who announced this said this was the agreement with the PoS operators after a meeting in Abuja.

According to him, the registrations also align with the legal requirements and the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He added that the action was equally backed by Section 863, Subsection 1 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA 2020 as well as the 2013 CBN guidelines on agent banking.

He said the registration is aimed at safeguarding the businesses of fintechs and customers and strengthening the economy.



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