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.
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.
FREE 250,000 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUSINESS NAMES REGISTRATION FOR MSMEs— Corporate Affairs Commission (@cacnigeria1) November 2, 2020
Please find below the email addresses of the Aggregators for the FGN Free Business Names Registration: pic.twitter.com/9ETDdRzVUV
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.
If you come across the message below, please ignore! CAC is not a party to it. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/cXltSCmxAP— Corporate Affairs Commission (@cacnigeria1) May 20, 2021
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.
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.
Add new comment