By Yinka Kolawole, with agency report
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) said it would begin to de-register dormant companies, otherwise known as shell companies, from September this year.
Shell companies are inactive entities or companies registered for future purposes.
NFIU Director, Modibbo Tukur, announced yesterday that the unit would publish the criteria for companies to keep their registration status.
He said this would rid the system of shell companies that could potentially be used for fraud, adding that for companies to exist, they should have physical addresses.
Tukur stated: “If anyone establishes a company, it has to be a company indeed and we have to be firm on this. This has become more important now given the rollout of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) single currency because, with that, we know that capital and investments will move across borders and it is a single currency.
“So, we have to step up regulation to avoid fraudulent transactions. We will begin by September and some companies will have to be deregistered if they do not meet the criteria.
“We will publish the parameters and also give them enough time to regularise after which those that do not comply before the deadline will be shut down. If you have an empty company hanging in the system, it is a potential danger and we should not allow it to thrive.”
Recall that NFIU and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) signed a memorandum of understanding, on Wednesday, to combat Ponzi schemes and fraud in the capital market.