BUSINESS REGULATORY AGENCIES IN NIGERIA

Regulatory agencies are independent government agencies created by the legislative act to regulate and supervise business activities for the public interest.

In Nigeria, many regulatory agencies exist, including Corporate Affairs Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, NAFDAC, SON etc.

We are going to be taking a look at just a few of them in this post.

Corporate Affairs Commission (Cac)

The Corporate Affairs Commission was established by the Companies and Allied Matters Act, which was promulgated in 1990 to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria. 

The establishment of the Corporate Affairs Commission as an autonomous body was a result of the perceived inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the erstwhile Company Registry, a department within the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Tourism which was then responsible for the registration and administration of the repealed Companies Act of 1968.

Functions Of CAC

The functions of the Commission as set out in section 7 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act includes the following:

1. To administer the Act, including the regulation and supervision of the formation, incorporation, management, and winding up of companies.

2. To establish and maintain companies registry and offices in all the states of the federation suitably and adequately equipped to discharge its functions under the Act or any law in respect of which it is charged with the responsibility.

3. Arrange and investigate the affairs of any company where the interests of the shareholders and the public so demand.

4. To undertake such other activities as are necessary or expedient for giving full effect to the provisions of the Act.

5. The Commission also registers Business Names, and Incorporated Trustees as well as provides a wide range of ancillary services

you can read more about CAC from their website.

Securities And Exchange Commission(Sec).

This is the government agency responsible for regulating and supervising securities issued to the Nigerian public.

it is the apex regulatory agency of the Nigerian stock market. As a statutory agency, SEC is supervised by the federal ministry of finance.

The commission has evolved having started as an arm of the central bank of Nigeria under the name "Capital issues committee". The capital issues committee was an Adhoc, non-statutory committee created in 1962.

This committee metamorphosed into its current name– Securities and exchange commission following the promulgation of SEC decree No. 71 of 1979.

The new revitalized SEC, however, began operation on the 1st of January 1980 with just 51 staff.

To further enhance the objective of the SEC in its pursuits of investor protection, the SEC act has been reviewed several times.

The most recent of this review came in 2007 when the investment and securities act (ISA) was reviewed, amended, and passed into law.

Functions of SEC

1. Regulating the capital market to protect investors

2. Developing the capital market to enhance allocative efficiency. In doing so, SEC hopes to pave the way for a private sector-led economy.

You can read more about SEC from their official website

Nigeria Stock Exchange(Nse)

The Nigeria stock exchange is an open forum for eligible persons to buy and sell securities.

The NSE started as the Lagos stock exchange (LSE). The Lagos stock exchange was founded on 15 September 1960

It, however, began official operation on the 25th of August 1961 with 19 securities listed for trading.

In 1977, the Lagos stock exchange was rechristened the Nigeria stock exchange. 

Consequently, branches of NSE were established in major cities in the country.

The NSE is privately owned and self-regulating but the securities and exchange commission still maintains surveillance over it with the mandate of forestalling breaches of market rules as well as detecting and preventing unfair manipulations and trading practices.

Functions Of NSE

1. The NSE is saddled with the responsibility of providing the platform for people to buy and sell securities.

2. It provides an opportunity for businessmen and the government alike to raise funds.

3. By laying rules and regulations, NSE protects the public from sharp and shading dealings

4. NSE encourages people to save.

5. It serves as a medium for the dissemination of information to industrialists and investors alike.

6.  They also facilitate dealings on government securities. By so doing, they help the government meet its objectives relating to such securities.

National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (Nafdac)

According to WikipediaNational Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control is a federal agency under the Federal Ministry of Health that is responsible for regulating and controlling the manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale, and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, chemicals and packaged water in Nigeria.

Later amended by Decree 19 of 1999, the Agency is currently regulated under the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Act, Cap N1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), dating back to 2004.

NAFDAC was established to checkmate the illicit and counterfeit goods in Nigeria, which is 1993, was a big problem that even countries like ghana and sierra-leone even banned the sales of drugs, foods, and beverages made in Nigeria.

Functions Of NAFDAC

1. Regulation and control of the importation, exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale,e and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, chemicals, and detergents.

2. Conduct appropriate tests and ensure compliance with standard specifications designated and approved by the council for the effective control of the quality of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, packaged water, and chemicals

3. Undertake inspection of imported regulated products and establish relevant quality assurance systems, including certification of the production sites.

4. Undertake appropriate investigation into the production premises and raw materials for food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, and chemicals and establish a relevant quality assurance system, including certification of the production sites and the regulated products

5. It Compiles standard specifications, regulations, and guidelines for the production, importation, exportation, sale, and distribution of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, and chemicals.

Standard Organization Of Nigeria (Son).

This is the apex standardization agency in Nigeria. SON was created in 1971, following the enactment of the SON Act No. 56 of 1971.

Ever since then, there have been numerous amendments to the act. The most recent being in 2015, when the SON act No. 14 of 2015, was passed into law.

SON is charged with the duty of ensuring that goods produced or imported meet the minimum standards required by Nigerian consumers.

Functions of SON

1. Designing, specifying, and preparing standards for the production of goods and services that will be consumed by the Nigerian public.

2. Ensuring that important goods meet the minimum standards specified in Nigeria and international law.

3. Undertake test and anything else that ensure compliance with specified standards

4. To enlighten the public on the dangers posed by counterfeit and sub-standard products.

5. Certifying and approving industrial goods that meet its standard.  

6. Promotion of standards at local, regional, and even international levels.

Nigeria Export Promotion Council (Nepc)

NEPC was established following the promulgation of the Nigeria export promotion council decree No. 26 of 1976

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is the Federal Government of Nigeria’s apex institution for the promotion, development, and diversification of exports.

As a federal government, NEPC regulates, promotes, records and monitors export trade in Nigeria.

Functions Of NEPC

1. Coordinating and monitoring export development and promotion in Nigeria. This may include activities like the provision of technical support to exporters.

2. Provision of exportable product list.

3. Articulating, promoting, and implementing export policies and programs of the government.

4. NEPC also interfaces with international trade agencies on cooperation and capacity building.

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Small And Medium Enterprises Development Agencies (Smedan)

The micro, small and medium enterprise(MSME) is an important sector of the Nigerian economy. MSME is the major employer of labour in the Nigerian economy.

Unfortunately, the growth of this sector has been negatively impacted by a lack of adequate funding, low research and development expenditure, and inadequate use of information technology.

It is for this reason that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) was established in 2003.

This agency was established by the SMEDAN Act of 2003 to promote and develop the MSME sector of the Nigeria Economy. The Agency positions itself as a Stop Shop for MSME Development. Micro Enterprises are included in the clientele of the Agency since they form the bedrock for SMEs 

Functions of SMEDAN

1. By providing access to loans and other support services, They stimulate the development of the MSME sub-sector of Nigeria's economy

2. They are intermediate between MSME and the government. Thus, SMEDAN serves as the voice of the MSMEs

3. They promote and facilitate development programs for MSMEs

4. They work with private and public institutions to create a striving environment for MSME.

5. As a statutory body, the MSME stores database of MSMEs. This enables them to monitor and coordinates the activities of Nigerian MSMEs.

Conclusion

Though these are the 7 best-known regulatory agencies, this is by no means the complete list of every regulatory agency in Nigeria, as they exist a lot of them.

Also, businesses face some challenges complying with government regulations m, which are outlined here

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