How to register a Non-Governmental Organization in Nigeria

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) is an entity established without any profit
generating activities. This refers to charitable organisations, Not-for-Profits, Churches,
Associations and other development-oriented or social enterprises.

A Non- Governmental or charitable organization has its activities regulated by the
organization’s constitution and they have no alliance with the Government and politics.
The objectives of an NGO may include to promote, assist, and provide help to members of
the public in different areas, ranging from education, literature, grants, cultural development,
sporting, and charity etc.

In line with the Companies and Allied Matters Acts 1990(CAMA), an NGO or charitable
organization may be registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee or as Incorporation
Trustee. However, the cumbersome requirements of registering an NGO under Company by
Guarantee have made Incorporation Trustee the best option as it is easier, cheaper, and

Can I register an NGO Organization in Nigeria as a foreigner?

The very first condition of registering an NGO in Nigeria is to be a resident of the country.
Therefore, a foreigner must obtain a Combined Expatriate Residents Permit and Aliens Card
(CERPAC) before registering the NGO. It is also advisable that local trustees be used for
such purposes. Also watch below on YouTube: How to set up an NGO in Nigeria | A step-by-step guide.

Who can be appointed as Trustees for NGO Registration?

Anyone can be appointed as trustee, if;
 The person is not below the age of 18 and of sound mind
 The person must not be bankrupted or convicted of fraud within the last five years
before the appointment
 The appointee must confirm his or her appointment to make the appointment valid.

What are the Incentives for registering an NGO in Nigeria?

 NGOs enjoy tax exemptions on the following: tax exemptions on donations, aids, and
grants, payment of import duty on goods intended for humanitarian purpose (must be
approved by the Minister of Finance).
 The establishment of trust between the public and the NGO organization.

Check out our article on how to trademark a business in Nigeria.

What are the procedures for registering an NGO in Nigeria?

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the Government Agency responsible for NGO
registration in Nigeria. All applications must be submitted to the CAC in accordance with Part
C of CAMA. The following are the steps.

  1. Conduct name and availability search of the proposed business name. You may
    apply for the reservation of the business name, not longer than 60 days. After the 60-
    day period, the business name may be used by someone else.
  2. Download the Incorporation application forms from the CAC and a memorandum and
    complete the forms.
  3. Publicize intentions of registering in three newspapers. Two of the newspapers must
    be nationwide publication and one must be local publication; this is to create
    awareness and incite objections to the CAC in which the publication only last for
  4. Once there are no objections after the 28days of publication, the Incorporation
    application form must be duly submitted to the CAC and accompanied by the
    following documents:
     A formal letter of application
     Two copies of the application forms signed by the chairman and secretary of
    the organization
     Two copies of the organization’s constitution
     Residential Addresses and signature of the Trustees
     2 passport photographs of the Trustees
     Minutes of meeting appointing the trustees including lists of members and the
    voting patterns
     A copy of trust declaration form deposed by each Trustee in the High Court in
     Evidence of property to be used for the organization
     Original copies of the Newspapers publications
     Authorise the organization seal on the application form

How long does it take to complete an NGO Registration in Nigeria?

It may take you roughly 2 months to register your NGO in Nigeria. The following are the
breakdown of the activities.
 Business name search – 24 hours
 Newspaper publication – 28days
 Submission of registration application and approval process – 2 weeks

How much does it cost to register an NGO in Nigeria?

The cost of registering an NGO in Nigeria ranges from US$ 300 – US$1000 including the
cost of advertisements in the newspapers.
To state the obvious, NGO registration seems tedious; if you need any other information to
clear any uncertainty, you can visit the CAC portal or contact us and
we will be available to help.