The federal government has slashed the costs of registering businesses by half, starting from October 1, to encourage investments in the country.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who disclosed this yesterday, explained that the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) had reduced capital registration costs by 50 per cent for equity registrations of N500 million or lower, and by 25 per cent for equity registrations from N500 million and above.
Speaking during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between his ministry and the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade of the Federal Republic of Brazil on the promotion of trade and Investment, in Abuja, Aganga noted that the initiative was 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.
The 19-man Brazilian delegation was led by the country's Deputy Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Mr. Richardo Schaefer.
He said: "Following the directive from the President, the Corporate Affairs Commission 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."
The minister added that the signing of the MoU with Brazil would make it possible for various agencies responsible for skills development, industry and development finance in both countries to work together to deliver better services for the citizens of their respective countries.
He said: "The aim of the MoU is to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries at the bilateral and multilateral level; increase and promote the 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 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."
On his part, Schaefer said the MoU would provide a framework for both countries to significantly explore and increase the trade and investment opportunities in their respective countries.
He said: "We have signed an 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 in terms of trade and investment cooperation and allow us to explain to the private sector of Brazil, about the enormous opportunities that exist in Nigeria for investments and partnerships."