olusegun-agangaTo encourage local and foreign investors, the Federal Government has slashed the cost of registering businesses by half.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, told the Brazilian Deputy Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Mr. Richardo Schaefer, who led a 19- man delegation to his office yesterday that the new registration regime took effect from October 1.

Aganga said the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) had reduced by 50 per cent equity registrations of N500 million or lower, and by 25 per cent for equity registrations of N500 million and above.

He said: “The rationale behind the reduction in the cost of business registration is in line with the ministry’s investment climate reform programme aimed at strategically repositioning Nigeria as the preferred destination for both local and foreign investments.

“Following the directive from the president, the CAC has since October 1, 2013, slashed fees for business registration by 50 per cent.

“Under the new regulations, capital registration fees for companies (under Part A) have been reduced across board. While capital registrations below N1million will retain a flat fee of N10,000; all registrations between N1 million and N500 million are reduced by 50 per cent; and all registrations above N500 million are reduced by 25 per cent.

“By this action, Nigerian companies will now save well over N2 billion per annum, which can be used to sustain their businesses, hire more staff, and expand operations. The new regulation has been deliberately set up to ensure the bulk of these savings go to smaller businesses, which need the lower fees more.”

He said the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Brazil would make it possible for agencies responsible for skills development , industry and development finance in both countries to work together to deliver better services for their citizens.

“The aim of the MoU is to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries at the bilateral and multilateral levels; to increase and promote bilateral trade of strategic items of mutual interest, and support cooperation between institutions of both countries responsible for the promotion of trade and investment and official financing such as Banco Nacional do Desenvolimento Economico e Social (BNDES) and the Bank of Industry.

“Also, we are looking at areas where Brazil can support our industrial, skills development and the growth of our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. Therefore, this MoU will bring together our MSMEs promotion agency(SMEDAN) and Servico Brasileiro de Apoio Micro e Pequenas Empresas (SEBRAE) , Servico Nacional de Apredizagem Industrial (SENAI) and the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to drive the initiative.”

Schaefer said the MoU would provide a framework for both countries to explore and increase trade and investment opportunities.

He said: “We have signed a MoU today to deepen the trade and investment cooperation between Nigeria and Brazil. We need to deepen our cooperation in several sectors of the economy. Our governments, through this agreement, will evaluate, step by step, the different projects that are mutually beneficial to both countries. The MoU is an important tool to make things happen faster.

Information from The Nation was used in this report.