The consistent crashing of the company registration portal of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, is slowing down the implementation of the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business policy.
Recall that in 2017, the then acting President, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had signed an Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business to foster transparency and improve the business environment in the country.
The document directs all government MDAs to ensure easier access to information, processes and documentation, as well as promote efficiency in public service delivery.
“The Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) shall within 14 days of the issuance of this Order ensure that all registration processes at the CAC are fully automated through the CAC website from the start of an application process to completion, including ensuring the availability of an online payment platform where necessary,” the Order read in part.
On this instruction, the CAC in 2018 had automated all its operations to pave way for the Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, owners to register their businesses with ease and have access to government incentives.
In the light of this, the Commission engaged MainOne, a Lagos-based private firm, to manage its company registration portal.
However, a few years after the migration, stakeholders have continued to lament over what they described as epileptic nature of the services, saying that the portal falls short of their expectations as it crashes more often than not.
CAC staff, accredited agents cry for help
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the instability of the portal has been causing untold hardship on the accredited agents of the commission who have virtually been shut out of business.
The agents who comprise lawyers, chartered accountants and secretaries are not on the payroll of the commission but depend on the commissions received after handling company registrations for their clients.
Speaking with DAILY NIGERIAN, one of the agents who did not want her name printed on the newspaper for fear of losing her accreditation, disclosed that the server had crashed seven times within the year 2020.
According to her, the breaking down of the site has made them lose many clients, just as other clients had lost confidence in them for not being able to register companies for them.
She said: “At the moment, no company registration is going on at the CAC. This is the only source of our livelihoods and, as such, we have been subjected to begging and other illicit ways of surviving.”
A staffer at the CAC’s head office, who pleaded anonymity, told DAILY NIGERIAN that even the revenue generation of the commission has been dwindling due to the instability of the portal.
According to him, it took the grace of God for the commission to pay salaries and settle other staff obligations during the period.
“The portal has been on and off for the past few months. In fact, throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period, the server had been off. It would only come on and after a few days go off again. MainOne is not competent. They should be changed or cautioned to be up-and-doing.
“Most importantly, I believe there is saboteurs somewhere and the management is not doing enough to arrest the situation.
“You know the Registrar-General just assumed office a few months ago and you remember the drama that led to his emergence as the head of the CAC. Maybe there are saboteurs from within,” the source alleged.
However, in a notice to its customers on Wednesday, the CAC apologized for the disruption of its online services which according to them started from around 8:00AM on June, 9.
In the notice, signed by management, the commission said the disruption is, “attributable to infrastructure failure at our hosting facility in MainOne Data Centre in Lagos”.
“MainOne Cable Company Limited is responsible for the hosting and management of the commission’s IT infrastructure.
“Efforts are being made by the management to restore normal services as soon as possible.”
While the MainOne is yet to return the calls and messages sent to them demanding for comments are yet to reach us, checks by this newspaper revealed that the portal has come alive in the early hours of Friday.