Despite assurances by the management of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, following protests by its customers over poor services, indications on Monday are that the situation is yet to fully normalize.
Last week, normal business at the headquarters of the Commission in Abuja was disrupted by angry customers and agents during the protest by lawyers, members of the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Nigeria, ICAN, and Chartered Institute of Secretaries of Nigeria, CISN.
The protesters had accused the management of the Commission of superintending over a system that has completely collapsed making it difficult for them to carry out normal businesses for prospective business operators.
The lawyers had said that contrary to information in the Commission’s official website that applications for reservation of business name search and business incorporation could be completed within three hours and three days respectively, none would be completed within a minimum of two months.
They blamed the situation on the total collapse of the Commission’s internet connectivity service, which resulted in the loss of valuable data and accumulation of huge backlog of unapproved application for name search availability and business name incorporation.
An Abuja-based lawyer and an accredited CAC agent, Mike Omosegbon, said more than a week after the protesters were promised by the Registrar General, Bello Mahmud, that normal service would be restored within 24, the situation appears not to witness any significant change.
Mr. Omosegbon said most customers still experience difficulties accessing the CAC website to conduct normal name search for registration of companies.
“It is still business as usual as CAC’s online registration portal is still inaccessible in spite of claims made otherwise by the Registrar-General of CAC to all Nigerians,’’ Mr. Omosegbon said on Monday.
“Hitherto, if you put in the name search, which was the first step in incorporation and registration, it would take a maximum of three days to do this. But, my application put in since August 15 is still pending,’’ he added.
Another lawyer, Akinlolu Ogunkanmi, however said that since the intervention of the management of CAC, some of the challenges have been rectified.
“The problems identified as reason for the protest have since been rectified to a large extent,” he said. “However, due to accumulation of work, CAC is still having some challenges coping with the backlog of requests pending in the system.’’
The Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Churchill Williams, said on Monday the organisation was still carrying out the online registration of companies, while a new e-payment module was being installed for ease of its operations.
He said that the current challenges customers were facing was due to the transition to a new portal aimed at ensuring a more efficient service, adding that the new online registration system would ensure better services for the customers.
According to Mr. Williams, the protest by some lawyers last week was due to the shutdown of the organisation’s portal by a former IT consultant awarded the contract to manage the commission’s software.
He said though the vendor has since been paid part of the money the CAC was owing the company, its management still went ahead to shut down the system.
The CAC spokesperson assured that all issues about the problems currently being experienced in the doing business the Commission would be resolved latest by the end of webmaster