Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Corporate Affairs Commission: Another parastatal in dire need of overhauling? Part II

The story in Part I finally comes to a close.

5 months and 8 days, that's how long it takes to file a change of director, open an account in a bank (that one that has been around forever), complete the search and your account is activated. Along the way you also have to throw tantrum or it may take longer. Let's break it down.

1. You are naive like me, so you have a qualified company secretary but he does not understand that things don't just work in Nigeria, you have to "grease-the-wheel". So you file, 3 weeks before CAC in Yaba (Yaba is notorious for bad customer service) asks you to write a petition. Another petition in 3 weeks then you realize you're wasting time. 2 months down the line and you decide this is going nowhere, file a new set of documents, this time in Abuja.

2. You get a lot of traction in Abuja, correct a paper or two and 2 months later your papers are out. You submit at the private ministry (the bank). It happens to be at the end of the month so no one does anything, after all, your money will contribute to the monthly performance review (MPR) for that month. Then they try to make your money count towards the following month's MPR because they know you are pissed and will try to move everything to another bank.

By this time, you've spent 4.5 months trying to open an account, no thanks mostly to the CAC.

3. Your banker lies to you; actually they want the search to be fully updated on all CAC channels (apparently the channels are clogged) and this will happen in about 2 weeks. However you're made to wait 4 weeks and by this time your banker is not replying your emails. You go bunkers and escalate and threaten. It's already 5 months so you copy the bank's complaints unit, and put cpd@cbn.gov.ng and contact@cpc.gov.ng, both Consumer Protection units external to the bank. The following day, your account becomes active. It's a few days to MPR but your money is finally "spendable". It has lost value to devaluation and operational losses including costs of borrowings but finally you have the money! 

Five months and 8 days!