Are you inspired to help the Nigerian society and make it better for all of us? If yes, the easiest way to make your impact felt at large is for you to know how to register an NGO in Nigeria and use your NGO to carry out projects that solve a particular problem in our society. Your NGO can be to help the poor, the youth, the unskilled, the widows, the sick – or even the environment.
Whatever your NGO would be based on, you must register it first, before you can commence operations. Therefore, this post aims to show you how to register an NGO in Nigeria.
However, before I show you how to register an NGO in Nigeria, I would like to differentiate between an NGO and an NPO, as most people tend to confuse the two.
How to Register an NGO in Nigeria: Differentiating between NGO and NPO
An NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) is what it is: an organisation that is not directly affiliated to the government; however, most of the times, the government is involved in the establishment through the provision of fundings. After the NGO is registered and founded, its operation is run without the direct influence of the government.
NGOs are also regarded as CSO (Civil Society Organisation).
As for NPO (Non-profit Organisation), it is a broad category of organisations in which NGO is one of its subcategories. So, we can say NPO is the mother, and NGO is one of its daughters – this is the reason both do almost the same thing.
Nevertheless, NPO is different from NGO in that it is an organisation set up for purposes beyond making profits. Most NPOs are regarded as endowment or foundation, and all the income generated by the organisation must be recycled back – neither the shareholders nor the owners are entitled to use part of the income generated for personal use.
On the other hand, when you register an NGO, extra income generated can be shared by the owners and shareholders.
How to Register an NGO in Nigeria: A Company Limited By Guarantee or Incorporated Trustee?
When thinking of how to register an NGO in Nigeria, it is important you know that there are two ways by which your NGO can be registered: It can be registered as a company limited by guarantee or as an incorporated trustee – according to the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 1990.
The difference in the two, when you are registering an NGO in Nigeria, is that for you to register as a company limited by guarantee, you would need the stamp of the Attorney General of the Federation. Therefore, most registered NGOs in Nigeria are registered as incorporated trustee.
Now that you have understood the differences between NGO and NPO, and between a company limited by guarantee and an incorporated trustee, let’s go through how to register an NGO in Nigeria in a step-by-step guide.
How to Register an NGO in Nigeria: The Requirement Materials
Before we proceed with the steps, keep the following materials close when trying to register your NGO in Nigeria.
- Two passport photographs of applicants
- Minute of the meeting of adoption of rules into the NGO’s constitution. The minute should be signed by the chairman and the secretary of the board of Board of Trustees.
- Two copies of the NGO’s constitution
- Formal application letter
- Two copies of application form signed by the chairman and secretary of the board of Board of Trustees.
- Newspaper publications
- Minute of meeting of the appointment of the NGO’s board of trustees and list of attendance and voting results. The minute should be signed by the chairman and the secretary of Board of Trustees
How to Register an NGO in Nigeria: Step By Step Guide
As the registration of profit-making ventures is made by CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission), the registration of NGOs is done by CAC, too. Here are the steps on how to register an NGO in Nigeria.
- Conduct a Name Search
You must already have a name for your NGO. So, now is the time to check for the availability of the name with CAC. It is recommended you come up with more than one names so that if one is taken, the other might be available.
- Publication of Intention
After you have checked for name’s availability, and CAC has approved your name, the next step on how to register an NGO in Nigeria is to make your intention know to the public that you are registering an NGO. This requires you to publish the notification in 3 newspapers in which one of the newspapers must be widely circulated in the area your NGO will be located.
- Filling and Submission of Application Form
The last step on how to register an NGO in Nigeria is the filling and submission of the application form. The form would ask about the details of the NGO and that of the members of the Board of Trustees – the people in charge of running the NGO, like the shareholders/directors of incorporated businesses.
You would need to fill out information such as the approved named of the NGO, a brief description and its aims and objectives, the registered address, as well as the names, sex, nationality, occupation, and address of the members of the Board of Trustees.
The well-filled application form and the required materials (stated above) are then submitted to CAC.
- CAC Review and Approval
After all the above steps have been completed, you are done with your part of the registration. CAC would then review the application, and the supporting documents and the approve the NGO. As for the cost of registering an NGO in Nigeria, it is ₦20,000 (at the time of this publication), and it is paid to CAC during the submission of the form and the other documents.
That’s how to register an NGO in Nigeria – and start caring for the people or things you cherish. Good luck in your endeavours!
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