Registering Charities and NGOs in Nigeria

There are different types of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that are permitted to operate in Nigeria under statute, these include trade unions, community based organisations, social clubs, religious organisations, cultural associations, women’s groups, youth clubs, professional associations, political parties, cooperative societies, specialised professionally run NGOs and friendly societies.

In Nigeria NGOs may be registered as a company limited by guarantee or as incorporated trustees (by which trustees of the NGO, rather than the NGO itself, obtains the status of a body corporate).

Companies limited by guarantee and incorporated trustees are both regulated by the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990 (CAMA).

A company limited by guarantee cannot be registered with share capital and can not be incorporated with the objective of carrying on business for the purpose for making profits for distribution to members. The memorandum of a company limited by guarantee can not be registered without the authority of the Attorney General of the Federation


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The process for the incorporation of trustees commences with a search for the availability of the proposed name of the incorporated trustees, and then the application which contains a memorandum of guidance is procured. This is followed by the publication of notice of the proposed incorporation of trustees in at least three (3) national dailies, one being a local newspaper widely circulated in the area where the proposed organisation is to be based.

The duly completed application is then submitted to the Corporate Affairs Commission in triplicate and accompanied by the following:

  • A formal letter of application.
  • The original newspaper publications.
  • 2 copies of applicant’s constitution.
  • Minutes of the meeting whereat the trustees were appointed and absent and showing the voting pattern, signed by Chairman and Secretary of the board
  • Minutes of the meeting where special clause rules was adopted into the constitution of the organisation; signed by secretary and chairman.
  • Trustees (Applicants) have to attach 2 passport sized photographs
  • Trustees have to sign against their names on the application form (Encl D) and furnish permanent residential addresses.
  • Draft of 20,000 Naira in favour of CAC and made payable in Abuja.
  • Two photocopies of the application form.
  • Application form duly signed by secretary and chairman of the board.
  • Trustees declaration forms duly signed by each trustee and deposed to at a high court of Justice in Nigeria.


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Registering Charities and NGOs in Nigeria

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