Top 5 Federal Government business agencies and parastatals and Ministries in Nigeria
Everywhere all over the world, governments have played significant roles in entrepreneurship development. In fact, the truth of the matter is that businesses and entrepreneurs in any country can achieve little or no result if there is no form of support from the government. Every government understands that the strength of nations’ economies depends, to a large extent, on the ability of businesses to thrive and do well. For this reason, governments that are reasonable in most countries tend to have special consideration for local businesses, and government of nations usually formulate policies that are focused on helping local business thrive and grow with the aim of strengthening the economy.
Nigeria is not an exception to this form of economic arrangement. In Nigeria, there are a number of governmental policies and structures that exist to protect the formation, growth and thriving of businesses and today, we will be looking at some of them and how you as a business owner can benefit from such policies and structures. More often than not, these policies are being carried out by various government agencies created for such purposes. As a business owner based in Nigeria, you must know many things the government is doing and has put in place as far is business operations in Nigeria is concerned. This is important so that you can be on the positive receiving end, and not on the negative receiving end. Many of the governmental policies on business operation, although aimed at making businesses grow, also have their pros and cons which every business owner must be aware of, adhere to and comply with. Many of those things are like double-edged sword that has one side that can benefit you, and the other side that can hurt you if violations of certain laws occur.
So, we will begin by introducing to you some of these top federal government business agencies, parastatals and ministries in Nigeria. We will talk about what they exist for, how you can benefit and how such agencies can deal with you if you violate any business laws that reside in their various jurisdictions. So, let us pick them one after the other.
- Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 1990. This government agency was created and saddled with the responsibility of seeing to the registration of all business entities within the economy. Under the law, every individual or companies transacting business within Nigeria is supposed to be officially known, approved and registered by the Federal Government of Nigeria – and the Corporate Affairs Commission is the government agency that sees to that. If you are running a business in Nigeria and your business is not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, you should begin to look at getting your business registered. Apart from the fact that it has a lot of benefit for you as a business owner, not registering your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission is a potentially dangerous situation for any business owner who plans to have a long-term success in business.
- Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)
This is the government agency in Nigeria that is saddled with the responsibility of collecting the “government’s share” of the money you make in your business as a business owner. I know that sounds kind of weird but I think that is the best way of putting it for any novice to immediately understand. The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is empowered under the Companies Income Tax Act (amended 2007), the Value Added Tax Act (amended 2007), and the Federal Inland Revenue Service Act (amended 2007). The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) plays the role of tax registration for company owners and employees, and it enforces prompt payment of various forms of taxes as stipulated in the above stated Acts, and also empowered to punish offenders of these Acts under the law. So, every business owner has the responsibility of knowing about all these government regulations that has to do with payment of taxes, and do well to comply. For details about various forms of taxes and how to know the specific ones that apply to your kind of business, you can visit the FIRS office closest to you for enquiries or you visit their website here for more information. Remember, ignorance is not an excuse under the law. So, do well to find out about all these provisions of the government and do well to comply with them.
- National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
If you are into the production of any food-related or drug-related products – edibles, water, drugs, cosmetics, consumables, etc. – or you are thinking of doing business along these lines in the future, you will certainly have something to do with NAFDAC. National Agency for Food And Drugs Administration And Control (NAFDAC) was established under Decree No. 15 of 1993, as amended under Decree 19 of the 1999. All goods that are being produced for sales in the Nigerian market and are related to anything food, drugs, or other things described above must pass through NAFDAC’s scrutiny and must be approved by the agency before it can be sold in the public space. If you intend to know more about NAFDAC, its operations and regulations, you can visit any of their branches scattered across the 36 states on Nigeria, or you can visit their website here for more information.
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- Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)
So far, we have looked at three government agencies that are more like enforcement institutions, although complying with them also has some intrinsic benefits for entrepreneurs and business owners. However, we now look at one important government agency that you need to know about as a business owner. This agency holds quite a number of benefits for business owners that we are going to be talking about shortly. SMEDAN was established by the federal government of Nigeria and its main job is to promote and strengthen micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) within the country. SMEDAN’s mission is to facilitate business owners’ access to every resource that makes for business development and sustainability, including access to financing.
- Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON)
The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) was established under the Standard Organization of Nigeria Cap 412 of the laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria and resumed operations on January 1, 1970. The Standard Organization of Nigeria is saddled with the responsibility enforcing standards on consumable products and ensuring that the consumers get nothing but the best. The Standards organization of Nigeria ensures that products comply to set standards and complying product are awarded certificates and certain number to show that they have complied to such standards. Thereby, it becomes easy for the general public to know the difference between those products which are SON approved, and the ones which are not. If you are essentially a manufacturer, and you are really in for a long haul, it is about time you begin to study after the Standards Organization of Nigeria and how their approval and certification can really help your product gain public confidence and make your sales skyrocket. It works!
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