By Sunday Ani, Lagos
A state legislator representing Surulere State Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Desmond Olusola Elliot, has assisted over 1, 200 small and medium scale business owners in Surulere Local Government Area to get their businesses registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Distributing the certificates to the elated business owners in Surulere on Monday, Elliot said the beneficiaries got their businesses registered at no cost, adding that it would give some form of confidence to the SMEs.
He noted that he only facilitated the registration as the programme was an initiative of the Office of the Vice President of Nigeria.
‘This is a laudable project that allows people to get their businesses registered at no cost. It will give some form of confidence to the SMEs. It is not only that they are registered; it also gladdens my heart to note that the government is working hard to ensure that people are engaged in SMEs. It gives some form of authenticity to business concerns,’ he stated.
On how he came about the programme, he said: ‘I go round and look for an opportunity for members of my constituency and bring it back home. In the course of doing that, I stumbled on somebody who works in the office of the Vice President and that was how this programme came to be and there are more programmes coming up like that.’
Elliot, a few months ago, had organised an empowerment programme that graduated over 100 youths in such skills as auto mechanic, hairdressing, cosmetology, and fashion designing among others.
He advised beneficiaries to utilise the opportunity of the free business registration to begin their businesses, maintaining that once they start to do business, they would be happy.
The Chairman of Surulere Local Government Area, Bamidele Sulaiman Yusuf, noted that it is not easy to get a business registered with the corporate affairs commission and commended the lawmaker for making it possible for the people.
‘We are happy to have somebody like Elliot in our local government. It is not easy to get a CAC certificate and without it, you can’t do any legitimate business. Now that they have it, they can now engage in a legitimate business. Through this, the government will also be able to know who and who to tax. There are so many people who do business and don’t pay tax but with this, the government will be able to tax them and raise funds for infrastructural development,’ he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Salami Kadija, expressed happiness, saying: ‘I am really excited about this. I thank the lawmaker and all those involved in making this possible. With this, I now know that my business is legally registered. Secondly, I am allowed to flow like every other business around the world. I can now travel outside the country to pick goods knowing that I have my business registered.’
Another beneficiary, Alabi Joseph, said he was initially sceptical when he heard about the programme but expressed happiness that it turned out to be a reality. He advised the youths to always take advantage of such opportunities.
‘When I got information about the programme, I didn’t believe it but I just decided to try it and today, it has turned out to be real. I thank Desmond Elliot and the FG for this great opportunity. It is, indeed, a great opportunity,’ he said.