This is a step-by-step guide on how to register association in Nigeria. An association is a group of people with a name organized for a particular purpose.
There are many associations in Nigeria and they are set up to achieve a set of goals or objectives. Associations come in form of trade unions, cultural associations, political parties, youth clubs, corporate societies, Non-profits, professional associations, social clubs, and women’s group.
Some popular associations in Nigeria are Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), and so on.
In Nigeria, some organizations like NLC appear as trade unions and pressure, and are set up to demand certain things from government and to protect the interest of her members.
Also, some associations like NMA and ICAN are set up to regulate the activities of practitioners in it. In some cases, associations like NMA can be set up to regulate the activities of members as well as protect their interests.
To be a member of some of these professional associations, I must possess some professional qualifications, have some years of practicing experiences and I may be asked to take tests or sets of exams to qualify as a member.
How to Register Association in Nigeria
Associations are very important tool in the society and for any association to be taken seriously by government, it has to be registered. But how do I register association in Nigeria?
Step 1: Choose the right name. Just like every normal business in Nigeria, choosing a right association name is vital to passing to the general public the objective of the association.
Like I earlier stated, the aim of the association I wish to register should be rightly picked to reflect the intention of the association.
I wish to start and register an association in my area, I will name it, Nigerian Youths for Good Governance.
When anyone hears the name, he will get the right message that ours is a political pressure group that will get Nigerian political leaders to deliver on their campaign promises.
Also, why name is carefully selected is that in an event where two associations share a similar name and one commits fraud, the general public may mistake the innocent one as the perpetrator of such crime. This will certainly tarnish their image.
It is important to note also that picking a simple name that will be easy for people to memorize is key if I wish to register association in Nigeria. So, I will choose a simple name that is tailored to what I wish to achieve so that it becomes a household name in no time.
Step 2: Pay a visit to Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The Companies and Allied Matters (CAMA) Act of 1990 empowers CAC to register all associations in Nigeria.
Associations fall into the category of incorporated trustees (persons appointed by my association during our meeting to pursue its registration at CAC).
The first thing is to check if my desired name is available. If the name has not been taken, I will be asked to proceed with the registration of my association name.
After that they will reel out all requirements necessary to register Nigerian Youths for Good Governance in Nigeria which my reader will get to find out as he or she continues reading this fully researched piece.
After the name search, I will pick up a form called IT Form 1 which can easily be processed by lawyers or chartered secretary in Abuja headquarters of CAC.
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Step 3: Visit any 3 national dailies and publish notices. I have to go and advertise in any three (3) national dailies and one of the dailies must be a local newspaper of where my association will be located, Lagos.
This is an important condition attached to opening an association in Nigeria by CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) which has the statutory right to register association in Nigeria.
I will have to pay a visit to Vanguard Newspaper, Punch Newspaper, and OsunDefender (which is a local tabloid in Lagos).
When the publications have been released, I will take copies of each of the newspapers to office of CAC for further registration of Nigerian Youths for Good Governance.
And incorporation of trustees must be done within 28 days of this publication. So, this is an important step to take before I register association in Nigeria.
Step 4: Other CAC requirements. Apart from the requirements mentioned in the previous steps, other requirements include
- 2 copies of my association’s constitution,
- originals of OsunDefender, Vanguard Newspaper and Punch Newspaper containing my advertisement,
- 2 formal letters of application signed by secretary and chairman (having common seal of the company),
- 2 passport photographs, receipt of filing fees,
- minutes of the meeting of the association where trustees are adopted and signed by secretary and chairman with the letterhead of the association, trustees have to sign against their names, occupations, and full residential addresses (and trustees must adults and must not ex-convict of any financial crimes and proof of their appointment documented),
- 2 copies of association constitution, affidavit sworn by trustees and IT Declaration Form,
- evidence of land ownership of the association (the CAMA Act of 1999 expects all associations to own a land or do so within one year of registration), and finally,
- 2 passport photographs of trustees. CAC will then create a file for my association when I meet all the requirements.
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Yes! It is done!!! I can now float my association Nigerian Youths for Good Governance.
To register association in Nigeria has the following benefits:
- The association becomes a corporate body or artificial human being. That is, it has the right to sue and also be sued now.
- Power to hold land. The association can now buy, own and sell lands in Nigeria.
- Common seal. The association has a common seal now.
It has continuous succession. Even in death of its major financiers and board of trustees, it will continue to exist because it is now an incorporated trustee.
If the principal officers die, the churches will inaugurate new members to replace the deceased ones immediately because it is now seen as an artificial human being.
To register association in Nigeria is very important because of the benefits mentioned above and like I observed earlier, Nigerian government cannot take any unregistered association seriously.
All known associations in Nigeria are registered and individuals trying to set up local associations like I did must endeavour to register it.
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