Last updated on November 29th, 2023 at 02:57 pm
Registering a religious organisation in Nigeria will cost you between N120K-N150K, depending on who is handling the registering process.
Are you thinking of registering your religious organisation and don’t know how to go about it? Or you don’t know the financial implications?
We urge you to refer to the law guiding the registration of such religious bodies in your country if you’re reading this guide in another country except you want to come to establish a religious organisation in Nigeria.
The Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA) of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) specifically mentions “religious” even though Mosques are not mandated to register, churches do.
We’ve not heard about a church that was sealed because it failed to register, but registering it comes with lots of benefits, especially when partnering with foreign bodies for relief materials or capacity-building seminars.
So, if you’re managing an existing religious body or planning to open in, there are rules set out by CAC to incorporate your religious body, this guide will list the required documents you need to get ready and the cost implications of registering a religious body in Nigeria.
But before jumping right into the process, what does CAMA 2020 say about this?
Section 823 (1) says:
“Where two or more trustees are appointed by any community of persons bound together by custom, religion, kinship or nationality or by anybody or association of persons established for any religious, educational, literary, scientific, social, development, cultural, sporting or charitable purpose, they may, if so authorised by the community, body or association (in this Act referred to as “the association”) apply to the Commission in the manner provided for registration under this Act as a corporate body.”CAMA 2020
Requirements of Registering a Church in Nigeria
Section 825 of CAMA 2020 is apt on the method, for the purpose of a pastor who is interested in incorporating his church.
You can head straight to the official portal of CAC and set up an account to get started, make sure you perfectly understand the workings of the CAC portal. You may encounter multiple rejections of applications if you fail to abide by the guidelines.
To avoid some of the challenges associated with registering a church with CAC, you may talk to an accredited CAC agent who has been trained on the process.
Whether you handling the registration yourself and you’re commissioning an agent or your lawyer to handle the process for you, we’ve simplified the process by outlining the required documents that will make your application gets swift approval:
Name of Church
It’s important to state the name of your church. To make things easier, you use the CAC name search portal to check if your proposed name is taken or available.
If an agent is handling the process, you may be required to propose at least three names. The essence of this is that at least one of the three names will be available for registration
Details of Church
- Office Address
- Phone Number
- Email Address
Aims and Objective
Section 825, sub-section 1B of CAMA states that the applicants must clearly state, “aims and objects of the association which shall be for the advancement of any religious, educational, literary, scientific, social, development, cultural, sporting or charitable purpose, and shall be lawful”
In this area, state at least five aims and objectives of your church
As one of the trustees, you have to provide a means of identity. It may be one of the following: international passport, voters card, NIN, National ID
- Passport photograph
- Date of Birth
- Phone Number
- Contact Address that must include your house no, street name, town, LGA, and state
The number of trustees determine the number of details that will be required. You will be required to scan or snap and send the above details.
Additionally, you must specify which Trustee is the CHAIRMAN, specify which Trustee is the SECRETARY
The minimum number of trustee is two (2)
Other requirements to register a church in Nigeria are:
- Constitution of the church
- Minimum number of Trustee
- Maximum number of Trustee
- Custodian of Common Seal
- Trustee Tenure
- Governing Body
- Application of Funds
- Keeping Account
- Source of income
How do I write Church Constitution?
If an attorney or an accredited CAC agent is handling the registration for your ministry, he will draft the constitution and handle the process of advertisements and minutes.
Section 828 (1 and 2) states that if CAC is satisfied that your application complied with the set-out rules, “it shall cause the application to be published in a prescribed form in two daily newspapers circulating in the area where the association is to be situated and at least one of the newspapers shall be a national newspaper.”
Subsection 2 states the purpose of the advertisement thus:
“The advertisement shall invite objections, if any, to the registration of the body”
Instead of undergoing the ordeal of drafting a church constitution, an accredited will handle the process for you.
What is the cost of registering a church in Nigeria?
Registration of a church in Nigeria is between NGN120,000 to NGN150,000 depending on the accredited agent or company handling the process for you. The charges include newspaper publication.
If you are handling the registration process yourself (not involving an agent which may come with lots of challenges), between NGN60,000 to NGN80,000 will complete the entire process.
How Can I register my church on CAC Portal in Nigeria?
Anyone who has a church can register on the CAC portal. The process involves creating a profile, getting set the above documents, drafting minutes for your church, and placing an advertisement on national dailies and attaching them to your application.
What are the requirements to register a church?
The above requirements apply, however, you must note that an infant, a person of unsound mind who has been so found by a court, an undischarged bankrupt or someone who has been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty within five years of his proposed appointment can not be appointed a trustee of a church.
What is the duration of church registration in Nigeria?
It will take between 5-6 weeks because of all the processes involved. Apart from this, sometimes, the CAC portal may experience downtime, which usually adds to the time. Irrespective of the downtime, church registration in Nigeria will be completed in six weeks (maximum).
As earlier pointed out, registration of a religious body is classified as “Incorporated Trustees” just like registration of a non-profit organisation by the body that regulates and maintains a database for company registration in Nigeria
The cost implication of registering a church in Nigeria depends on whether you want an accredited agent to handle the process for your ministry or you want to do it yourself. It costs at least NGN120K at the time of updating this guide.