Steps you should take when registering an NGO in Nigeria


11/20/20212 min read


 In every society, there is always need for a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), these organisations are a non-profit organisation that functions independently of any government. They are organized on community, national and international levels to serve a social or political goal such as humanitarian causes or the environment. It is essential for every NGO to be registered under the law as when an NGO is not registered, it is not recognized as a body in law that can sue and be sued. What then are the essential steps that must be taken to register a Non- governmental organisation?

According to provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), an NGO may be registered as a company limited by guarantee as seen in Part A of the Act or as incorporated trustee as seen in Part C of the Act.

In registering an NGO as incorporated trustees, the process starts with a search for a business name. It is important to ensure that no other business entity is currently registered by that name. The registration of the business name by the Registrar General, that is, his consent must be given. After the consent has been obtained, a name reservation request must be done on the Corporate Affairs Commission's portal.

NGOs are governed and managed by a board of trustees. These trustees are responsible for the management and direction of the organization. Thus, the next step would be to determine who the board of trustees would be. A person qualified to be appointed a Trustee must not be less than 18 years of age; or of unsound mind; or undischarged bankrupt; or convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty within 5 years of his proposed appointment.

Once the business name has been approved by the Corporate Affairs Commission, you can then proceed to the next phase which is that the trustees must do a publication of notice of the incorporation on at least three national dailies, one of which must be a local paper which is widely circulated in the area where the NGO will be located.

The next phase is to complete and submit the application form. The application form is self-explanatory and it asks for information such as the approved name of the NGO, the registered address of the NGO, a brief description of the aims and objectives of the NGO. It also includes the personal details of the trustees such as their names, sex, permanent residential address, occupation and nationality.

The final stage is submission of the completed application (in three copies) to the Corporate Affairs Commission alongside other documentation such as the original newspaper publication, two copies of the NGO Constitution, two passport photographs of the trustees and so forth.

All the documentation would then reviewed by the Corporate Affairs Commission and if there no issues that bring about queries, the NGO is then registered and can commence its affairs.



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