BY Victoria Ojeme
The Registrar-General and Chief Executive, Corporate Affairs Commission CAC, Garba Abubakar at the weekend disclosed that the Commission would begin the implementation of an electronic system for registration of companies, from August 10.
Abubakar, said this while briefing journalists in Abuja on some of the reforms being implemented under his leadership.
He said with the new measures being put in place at the Commission, company registration certificates would henceforth be sent to customers through courier services or electronically to avoid physical contact with clients.
He said the electronic mailing system is one of the reforms being implemented under his leadership to reposition the CAC for improved efficiency.
He said based on global standards, the process of company registrations are done electronically without physical presence, noting that the era where lawyers besiege the Commission to conduct such transactions was over.
Garba said the new electronic system would help to speed up the registration process as well as protect the integrity of documents issued by the CAC.
The CAC Boss told journalists that new system is also part of measures to comply with the Covid-19 protocols on physical distancing.
He said, “These are unusual times as the country has been shut for over two months. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, things have not return to normal.
“Because our system is not fully electronic, we have to interface with customers as we are expected to carry out registration.
“With the restrictions, it’s almost impossible to provide full services the way we did in the past.
“For us in CAC, we have 1,310 staff and only 221 of such staff fall in the category of level 14 and above. For the Head Office, these level of workers are just 15 per cent of our workforce.
“Every week, we attend to about 500 customers, we are currently working with less than 15 per cent of our workforce and we would not be able to meet up with our service timelines.
“We will work efficiently in line with the Covid-19 framework. We have got approvals to get laptops to enable staff work from home.
“From August 10, the new system will come into force in Abuja. For Lagos office, the electronic system will come into effect from August 31.”
He said the CAC has also eliminated the process where records are being searched manually following discovery that the process was being compromised by fraudulent lawyers.
He recalled that two weeks ago, two lawyers were caught at the commission tampering with documents during the process of manual searches.
Specifically, he said one of the lawyers was apprehended for trying to circumvent the system by forging a signature.
He said those apprehended had been handed over to the security agencies for prosecution.
He said, “We have eliminated manual searches by company customers and. The manual searches have compromised our processes. Lawyers use this to circumvent the system. Only two weeks ago, two lawyers were apprehended for tampering with documents.
“One was apprehended for forging signature. They have been taken to the law enforcement agencies and will be arraigned in court.”