How to Start an NGO in Nigeria

How to Start an NGO in Nigeria. Do you have a passion for real change you wish to see come to fruition by yourself? Are you tired of the way things are moving in Nigeria and want to help redirect them?

How to Start an NGO in Nigeria

Then you must begin to think of how to start an NGO in Nigeria. Individuals’ passion to bring the change they seek instead of rant about them, has led them into the establishment of NGO.

An NGO or Non-Governmental Organization is any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized on local, national or international levels.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are bodies, association not owed by government but individuals or group of individuals who wish to make their impact felt in the society where they belong. They may be referred to a pressure group, foundation or non-profits in certain contexts and/or countries.

To start an NGO in Nigeria, there are certain things you have to take into consideration and basic requirements you must also meet.

Arguments have been raised over the years about the true intents of founders and financiers of NGOs in Nigeria. Some Nigerians believe that these founders have vested interests in politics and businesses in the country, hence they are funding the NGOs and affecting lives as a way of getting Nigerians to support the political ambitions and vote for them massively in the polls.

But the intent of their owners is not our interest in this piece as we will assume you wish to start an NGO in Nigeria for the rights reasons.
Here are things you must do to start an NGO in Nigeria.
1. Develop the passion. Passions are developed out of the desire to fill up a gap or bring a change in an area of interest.

It can be as a result of the fact that you personally feel that Nigerian government has failed her people hence you wish to contribute your bit to make Nigeria a better place.

Therefore, for you to think of how to start an NGO in Nigeria, you must think of an area you wish to change or introduce a change to.

Is it in poverty alleviation? Do you wish to empower women? Do you wish to see more girlchild enrollment in schools? Do you wish to assist government in providing amenities like roads, hospitals, and water?

Do you wish to fight child abuse? Do you wish to stop wife battery in Nigeria? Do you wish to fight an epidemic disease? The list is just endless as many different people have different passions for things they want to see done differently.

Therefore, if you think of how to start an NGO in Nigeria, then you must have passion for some phenomenon you wish to change.
2. Assess funding capacity: Your next line of thought if you wish to start an NGO in Nigeria is to think of its funding. Capacity in this context defines the staff strength and its financial involvement.

Note that some NGOs will require you to get lawyers who will either be on your employ or part-time lawyer who is occasionally invited to initiate a lawsuit against individuals and governments and successfully execute them – they will be paid, too.

Also, you will need an office complex, website (if need be), probably an assistant or secretary and personal assistant who you will be working with as well as have the ability to represent you officially in your absence, maybe in meetings.

Note that the number of people on your payroll will determine how much you will have to budget for monthly salaries unless you are fortunate enough to get like minds who would not mind working free of charge and a lawyer who will take all your cases as pro bono depending on the interest of your NGO.

There must be defined source of money to fund your NGO activities and salaries of your staff/consultants if you think of how to start an NGO in Nigeria.
3. Get the right name and register it at Corporate Affairs Commission. In some countries people are allowed to run their businesses for a while before registration, but Nigerian laws are different.

The Corporate Affairs Commissions (CAC) acts are very explicit on how to start an NGO in Nigeria. CAC acts say you must register your business under it before it is recognized by Nigerian government.

Note that registering NGOs cost some money. Go to to read about all the requirements for registering an NGO in Nigeria.

Also, understand that choosing the right names for your NGO easily tells people what your goals are. This will abruptly strike to the reader or interested people what you set out to achieve.
4. Create a website for your NGO. Over 45% of Nigerians go on to the Internet to search for information they care about. This is figure amounts to over 60 million people.

Also, every owner of NGO wants to have a known NGO which will become a household name. If you must design a website for your NGO so that people can easily search on the Internet and access all the information they need to have about your NGO.

Remember that it is just about designing a website but designing a rich website with quality web content. Depending on your financially capacity, you should get experts to design it for you so that those who access it will immediately get the right impression about your NGO.

In 21st Century, the Internet is the easiest way to access and get information; therefore, you must create a website for your NGO if you think of how to start an NGO in Nigeria.

Finally when the website is created, you should also have links to popular social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. on it.

This way, people who prefer to navigate on those platforms can equally access your page and keep pace with the developing issues and activities on your NGO.
If you think of how to start an NGO in Nigeria, you must carefully follow the steps I have explained above.

Creating a website for your NGO is arguably the easiest way to market your NGO in Nigeria today. Therefore, having a functional website which is often updated with regular happenings in the NGO is key.

But mostly important, there must be a burning desire (passion) to change the things you really care about. Owning an NGO has many benefits.

Yes, the owners are often recognized by the government of Nigeria and given national or state honours depending on their area of operation n interests.

Also, the NGOs often get foreign recognition, financial boost and moral support. Foreign organizations like UNICEF, UK DFID, USAID and others often recognize and financially support the activities of many Nigerian NGOs.

And of course, the financial support comes in foreign currency. Proprietors of NGOs are often “begged” by people from areas where they come from to join politics and affect their lives even better believing that if they can change people’s lots with their own money, then they can do so much more with public funds when they are elected into offices.

These and many other benefits are accrued to owners of NGO. But do not ever think of how to start an NGO in Nigeria because of these attendant benefits because you might become disappointed and frustrated when they don’t come.

Yes, ensure you start an NGO in Nigeria for the right reasons and do that as soon as possible.

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Ifeanyi Nwokorie is a Business Analyst and Content Developer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Roberts. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Roberts. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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