Religion is one of the society’s most important institutions. Most people in society can’t live without going to church or mosque because religion teaches us how to live according to the scriptures.
Do you intend to build a church or a mosque? If your answer is Yes, it is recommended that you follow the proper procedure so that you do not have any problems with the government in the future.
The National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria established the Corporate Affairs Commission in 1990, and it has since been in charge of overseeing all registered companies, businesses, churches, mosques, and non-governmental organizations.
Let us get right to the steps for registering a church or mosque with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
STEPS TO REGISTER A CHURCH OR MOSQUE IN NIGERIA WITH CAC
The following is a step-by-step guide to register a church or mosque with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
STEP 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT NAME
Like any other business in Nigeria, choosing the right name for your religious entity is very important to the entity’s focus. To begin, conduct a name search for your church or mosque to ensure that your preferred name has not already been used by someone else.
Choosing the right name aids in attracting the correct worshippers. As a result, great care should be taken to choose a name that reflects the primary focus of the religious organization.
Churches and mosques are not the same. Some churches/mosques are devoted to deliverance and healing, and their names should reflect this. Others are involved in evangelism and must allow their purposes to be reflected in their name.
Furthermore, some churches/mosques place a strong emphasis on financial breakthrough and success, and this should be reflected in their names, as people appear to worship in churches or mosques to fulfill their spiritual, psychological, and financial desires and aspirations.
STEP 2: CREATE A BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Secondly, you are expected to form a Board of Trustees to act as directors. The equivalent of company shareholders/directors is the Board of Trustees. They are always in charge of the administration of the church or mosque. You must use Incorporated Trustees because churches and mosques are non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Having a Board of Trustees is an important requirement for CAC to open a church or mosque in Nigeria. Though the commission always prefers to work with chartered accountants, lawyers, and chartered secretaries as middlemen between religious leaders and CAC, trustees are frequently given preferential treatment by allowing them to deal directly with CAC officials.
STEP 3: VISIT THE CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION
The CAC has legal standing in Nigeria to register a church or mosque. Churches and mosques are examples of incorporated trustees.
The first step is to see if the name you want is available. If the name is not available, they can suggest alternatives, similar to how Gmail suggests available usernames to new users who want to sign up for their mail services.
STEP 4: PUBLISH THE APPROVED NAME
Immediately after the selected name has been approved by CAC, you will want to move on to the next step, which is to publish the approved name of the church or mosque in three newspapers across the country, one of which must be in the area or close to the church or mosque.
The church or mosque board of trustees must ensure that it is published in Punch, Nigerian Tribune, and one other newspaper company in the area where the church or mosque is located. For example, if the church/mosque is in Oshodi, the trustees will look for a newspaper in Oshodi or any other nearby area on Lagos’s mainland.
STEP 5: MEET OTHER CAC REQUIREMENTS
Aside from the requirements mentioned in the previous steps, you must ensure that the application is correctly filled out. You should also keep in mind that the Aims and Objectives of the church or mosque will be asked, so you should have that ready. Every member of the Board of Trustees will have a space to fill out their personal information as well. In addition, the application form must be accompanied by the following documents:
- Two passport-sized photographs of each Trustee
- 2 formal letters of application signed by the secretary and the chairman of the board, minutes of the church meeting signed by the secretary and the chairman of the board
- Two copies of the church’s or mosque’s constitution, as well as an original newspaper publication with your approved name.
- The minutes of the meeting at which the trustees were elected.
STEP 6: PAYMENTS
It should be noted that this registration does not come freely. Churches/mosques are expected to raise a bank draft in the amount of N20,000 and pay it to CAC.
Other fees may apply, and they will be even higher if you go through a lawyer, a chartered accountant, or a chartered secretary.
STEP 7: SUBMISSION AND APPROVAL
Finally, the Corporate Affairs Commission will review all of the submitted documents, and once everything is in order, you will be approved.
Please keep in mind that you can register at any of the CAC branches in your area/state, or you can use the CAC official website www.cac.gov.ng to download your preferred form and upload it after filling it out.
BENEFITS OF REGISTERING A CHURCH OR MOSQUE
The benefits of registering a church or mosque in Nigeria are as follows:
- The church or mosque becomes a legal entity and a corporate body. That is, it now has the ability to sue as well as be sued.
- It has a never-ending succession. Because it is now an incorporated trustee, it will continue to exist even if its major financiers and board of trustees die. If one of the religious body’s principal officers dies, the religious body will immediately appoint new members to replace the deceased.
It is very simple to register a church or mosque in Nigeria if you follow the seven simple steps outlined above. Even though the CAC has not been cracking down on unregistered churches and mosques, owners and leaders of unregistered religious organizations should make efforts to give the organization a corporate look by registering the organization.