Guidelines for registering a foundation/NGO in Nigeria


Are you thinking of starting a non-governmental organization or foundation and have been wondering how to go about it? Recently, a friend worked for the corporate affair commission to make an inquiry on the procedure to open a foundation.

They presented him with the four steps to follow in other to start an NGO.

4 reasons why people start a foundation/NGO

People open foundation for many reasons. But in my opinion, there are about five reasons why people start a foundation or NGO.

 An NGO is setup to embark on awareness or sensitization targeting specific groups of people of the society. This sensitization can be on health, youth development, skill acquisition and so on.

 An NGO can sponsor a campaign that can better the lives of the people.

 An NGO can give people free things that can improve people’s lives. For instance, an NGO can sponsor a medical team to offer free medical treatment or services in the communities.

 An NGO is another way of reducing unemployment. Most NGO has full time working for staffs and the staff strength continues to increase as the NGO grows.

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See also: How to start and register an NGO in Nigeria (The complete step by step guide)

The guidelines for starting an NGO

The following are the guidelines for registering a Non-Governmental Organization in Nigeria.

1. Availability/name reservation

Here you’re to present the corporate affairs commission with the intended name of the organization. The commission will do a name search to check its availability, when available, then they’ll reserve the name for you. Note the reservation has its time limit where it’s expected you register the name.

2. Procurement of applicant form which contains a memorandum for guidance of application

3. Publication of notices in two national dailies, one being a local newspaper widely circulated in the area where the organization is based. Where there is no local newspaper, publication shall be in two national dailies.

4. Submission of the duly completed application form which should be completed by the following:

a. A formal letter of application/forwarding letter

b. The original newspaper publications

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c. 2 copies of applicants constitution

d. Minutes of the meeting whereat the trustees were appointed, having the list of members present and absent and showing the voting patterns, signed by the chairman and secretary of the board.

e. Minutes of the meeting where the special clause rules were adopted into the constitution of the organization; signed by the secretary and chairman.

f. Trustees (applicants) have to attach 2 passport sized photographs of themselves.

g. Trustees have to sign against their names on the application form (ENCL. D) and furnish permanent residential addresses.

h. The impression of the common seal should be affixed on the page of the form.

i. Draft of N37, 000 in favour of corporate affairs commission.

j. Two photocopies of the application form

k. Application form duly signed by the secretary and chairman of the board.

l. Duly completed trustees declaration form sworn to the high court submitted with receipt of payment.

m. Recognized means of identification (driver’s license, international passport or national ID card


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14 Responses

  1. Akilu Zakari says:

    I have a foundation that is not registered,due to lack of fund and I have been operating wit it,hope it is not a crime,

  2. nigfree says:

    Akilu, it’s better you register it, because when someone register your foundation or NGO name you legally loose it and the person can sue you for using the name. My advice is, it’s better you register the name to avoid any trouble that may arise.

  3. Yemisi says:

    Hello, nice write up..
    Can you post on the neccessary steps to take in establishing a Non Positive Organisation..? The Pros and Comes.. Thanks

  4. Nathan says:

    Please how much will it cost me to register my non governmental organization

    • nigfree says:

      Hi thanks for the question. When you read the guide, you’ll see everything. please read the article again. thanks

  5. Ogbuagu Tobi says:

    thanks for this info, I have one already in operation, I will register it soon

  6. Blessing Vitalis says:

    Thanks for the guideline, I hope to register soon and start immediately

  7. flora says:

    Hi there,
    Thanks for the great info. I want to start up a foundation NGO in my father’s name and to set up trustees including myself and my husband. But we live outside Nigeria and I am not a Nigerian, but my husband and the other trustees will be from Nigeria.

    Can this be set up by a legal rep and documents sent to me for signing to set things up?

    Kind regards,

  8. Peace says:

    Hello, I will like to set up a charity. I will like to know how many trustees is required?

  9. Rukayya Gital says:

    Thanks for guidelines. I believe that many people with the intention of initiating one; like me will find this helpful

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