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No, Nigeria’s ‘gorvernment’ hasn’t approved free business registration, with cash and free flights

A WhatsApp message claims that Nigeria’s federal government has approved free Corporate Affairs Commission registration for businesses and the self-employed.

To sweeten the deal, CAC registration comes with “benefits” such as N50,000 in cash and a free trip to the United Kingdom, it says.

The commission regulates the creation and management of businesses in Nigeria.

FEDERAL GORVERNMENT HAS APPROVED ALL SELF EMPLOYED AND BUSSINESS OWNERS TO CARRY-OUT THEIR C.A.C(CORPORATE AFFAIR COMMISSION REGISTRATION ONLINE FREE OF CHARGE,” the misspelled, all-caps and poorly worded message reads.

Helpfully, it includes a link

The message seems to have started circulating online around 20 May 2021, including on Twitter and Facebook. On Facebook, it’s been posted on group pages with tens of thousands of members.

NigeriaGovernment_False

Covid relief plan for three months in 2020

The link in the message leads to a haphazardly designed and written mobile web page, its address ending with the .xyz domain. Nigerian government websites use the official gov.ng domain.

In October 2020 the CAC announced that, as part of Covid-19 relief, it had approved free business name registration for 250,000 micro and small businesses. 

At the time, the commission tweeted registration contacts for each of Nigeria’s 36 states. The free registration drive ran for three months.

 

 

We asked Rasheed Mahe, a spokesperson for the CAC, about the message. He referred us to a tweet on the commission’s official Twitter account, posted on 20 May 2021.

“If you come across the message below, please ignore! CAC is not a party to it,” the tweet reads.

 

 

The message is false. Nigeria’s federal government did approve free company name registration, but only as a Covid relief scheme offered to 250,000 businesses that ran for three months in 2020.

The scheme did not include the “benefits” listed in the message.

Africa Check has debunked several false and misleading messages that manipulate the Nigerian government’s efforts to relieve the economic hardship caused by Covid.

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