How to start and register an NGO or charity foundation with CAC in Nigeria - Startuppreneur

How to start and register an NGO or charity foundation with CAC in Nigeria

Ngo is one of the angel that guide and shape society positively. It is no longer a news that government cannot do everything; government cannot feed all the hungry people in a country nor cloth them what of religion? Government cannot do that also, that is why social entrepreneur need to stand up and fill the vacuum, enough of putting everything to authority.

I could remember when I was in secondary school there was a girl with hearing impairment, we all thought that is the end of her education because her parents were poor, there is no way they will raise #10 million needed to do the surgery, but to God be the glory, an NGO came to her plight and help her.

I was surprise to see that there are still selfless people on this earth.

Enough of story let go down to the reason you are here, to know how to register and start NGO (Non-Government Organization in Nigeria)

How to start an NGO in Nigeria

Ngo is like starting a business , that is why NGO founders are also refers to as entrepreneur, you will need to raise fund and find people, in fact it is a little harder than business because people or organization that will fund you must not expect a return and you likewise.

Your return is the satisfaction and feeling you will have when you see your dream come alive; when people excel or succeed because of your organization.

So how do you start an NGO in Nigeria?

1) What do you want to change?
Ngo is set up to correct or improve a situation but it must align with your passion; with who you are or else you will burn out quickly. What are the things that annoy you when you walk in ghetto area?

What nearly take tears from your eye? Or is it religion? Write them down and choose the one that align with your future goal.

For your NGO to stand the test of time and not fade out, you need to have work in one NGO or the other, it will allow you to know what challenges to expect and how to tackle them so put this into consideration when thinking of where to change in your country or in the world.

2) Team up
As you already know, NGO is not for profit though you can take salary once it become established but at least for like 2 years you should not expect salary other than the satisfaction you will derive from it.

This is why you need to look for people that are passionate as you, people that won’t go down in the face of challenges.

Below are the kind of people you will need

  • Boards/trustee
  • Administrator
  • Project manager
  • Fundraiser

3) Ngo business plan/focus

It is time for you to narrow down on your goal, the chances are you will have many goals you want to run after but it is impossible you will burn out while achieving noting.

Pen your goal down and brake it in to pieces and take it year by year, this will make you achieve more quickly.

4) Register your NGO
This is the main purpose of this article and it will be dealt with in the next section. if you don’t register your NGO with appropriate authority, no trustee, board or funder will agree to team up with you.

To also enjoy the benefit of being an NGO like no tax and no import duties you need to register you non-government organization.

5) Fundraise
Once you register, the next thing is to start fundraising. Go to wealthy individual, politician and profit organization with your plan and the reason they need to support your organization.

What will be their achievement? You need to know this because human being are selfish you need to tell them what they will achieve and of course it will not be in money but there has to be something, like politician it will make people see them as good people if you go to them during election they will surely fund you.

6) Start and start
You can’t learn everything in a day, you will learn as you execute. Let everyone in your team no their role and make them responsible for any anomaly.

Monitoring and evaluation is the back bone of successful NGO, conduct it regularly to know what you win and miss.

Benefit of registering an NGO in Nigeria

Below are what you will enjoy as a registered NGO in Nigeria

1) Tax exemption
You don’t need to be afraid of import duties when you need to import goods to Nigeria. Also company and individual can donate to your organization with no tax charges and this will encourage people to donate more.

2) Your NGO is now an entity
A registered NGO has now become an entity that can sue and be sued. Your NGO can now own building, land and other structure in its name.

3) No personal liability
If your non-government organization goes into debt, there is no need of running hectare scatter, your money will not be touched since it is a legal entity

4) It can stand the test of time
Registered NGO is no longer a one man thing therefore when you and your trustee dies it will still continue doing its business.

5) Other organization will take you serious
Registered NGO are taken seriously and get funded quickly because people trust them and they know that they will not shut down abruptly.

How to register an NGO in Nigeria

According to provisions of companies and allied matters act (CAMA) 1990 you can register NGO as incorporated trustee or company limited by guarantee.

I will advise you to choose the former because it is difficult to get all the requirement needed to register as company limited by guarantee.

Before we go in to the steps below are the document you need to get ready

  • Letter of application
  • Copies of applicant constitution (2 copies)
  • Newspaper publication
  • 2 Passport photograph of the applicants/trustee
  • Bank draft for the registration fee
  • Minute of the last minute with chairman and secretary consent (signature)

Step 1 — search and chose your NGO name

The first step is to search and choose a name for your organization; the name must be unique such that no one is using it.

In other to avoid trademark problem, put it in reservation and during this time your company would have been register but if not you only have 60 days before the name will be available back to public which means anybody can go for it again.

Step 2 obtain incorporated form

The second step is to get incorporated form from corporate affairs commission, to get it you need to go to their office.

The incorporated form will contain some information and how to go about NGO registration.

Step 3 publication of notice
In this step you will go to 3 credible national newspapers and publish a notice of NGO or Charity registration. This is to let people, government and other organization aware of your NGO.

Note: At least two of the newspaper should be around your proposed location.

Step 4
The form collected in step 1 should be filled and submitted back to CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) with the following document

  • Letter of application (formal)
  • Copies of applicant constitution (2 copies)
  • Original newspaper publication
  • 2 Passport photograph of the applicants/trustee
  • Minute of the meeting where trustee, executive and all member where listed
  • Residential address of the organization, trustee and it member
  • Bank draft for the registration fee

The cost of registering an NGO or Charity in Nigeria

The cost of registering an NGO in Nigeria depend on the person or organization handling the registration nevertheless it should not be more than #100,000 to #200,000

Can a company register NGO in Nigeria?

Yes sure, an incorporated company who want to help people but want to do it directly so as to monitor and evaluate the process can also register NGO, but the trustee must not be working in the company.

How to register an NGO as a foreigner in Nigeria

A foreign organization or social entrepreneur can also register NGO in Nigeria but they must have a presence in Nigeria therefore the person must possess Combine Expatriate Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) and the trustee must comprises of local.

How long does it take to register an NGO in Nigeria?

To register an NGO in Nigeria it will take approximately 60 days.

The first step will take 1 or 3 days

The second step and 3 will take 30 days

The fourth step will take 28 days

In total it will take 60 days to register non-government organization or Charity in Nigeria

Who can be appointed as trustee?

Trustee is like a board and anybody can be appointed in to this role but the person must not be

  • Currently bankrupt
  • A person who has served jail terms (a convict)

How the chairman and other executives are chosen

Chairman and other executives are chosen in the first meeting and this must be recorded and among the document that will be submitted to CAC.

Registering an ngo is a tedius process you can do it yourself, it will better to ound a reputable lawyer or organization that will help you out.





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