By Felix Khanoba
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) says there is no going back on its decision to ensure that pre-incorporation certificates are delivered to customers through designated courier companies.
The Commission said the policy which came into force on Friday put an end to customers visiting its Lagos and Abuja offices for collection of the certificates.
The Registrar General of CAC, Garba Abubakar, who made this known at a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday, said the move would guard against the spread of Coronavirus and reduce the burden on overstretched CAC staff occasioned by the COVID-19 guideline which stipulate that only level 14 officers and above should resume work.
“We have a total workforce of 1,310 staff, only 221 of such staff fall into the category of officers from level 14 and above. Every Monday to Friday we attend to nothing less than 500 customers.
“But if you are dealing with mailing company, every certificates we can produce by 2:00pm, we hand it over to the courier company the same day and the customer can pick it, this system was introduced on Friday and I can assure you between the time it was introduced till now over 400 certificates have been dispatched by the courier companies.
“In the past some customers would wait for one month without getting the certificate, to the extent some were even accusing our staff of corruption, that our staff were collecting money. The mailing system won’t stop at certificate dispatch, it will extend to all other processes,” the RG said.
While saying the Commission has secured an approval to purchase laptops for its staff under level 14 to work from home to enhance the operation of the Commission, Abubakar expressed concern that the move to end physical contact with customers have unsettled some individuals, many lawyers that were making money from the old arrangement, hence, the recent protest against the Commission.
The CAC boss also listed elimination of manual searches by customers as another reform put in place in the commission.
“In the past we allowed customers to handle our documents. Customers can apply for documents and we will bring out the file, give it to him, he searches, extracts the information he needs and returns the file. That is compromising the integrity of the information. In so many occasions, we have apprehended lawyers that have stolen particulars for companies that are under investigations or that have disputes among the shareholders.
“Only two weeks ago, a lawyer was apprehended for forging signatures. His specialization is when documents are queried for irregular signatures, he signed again for these customers,” he said.