The Nigerian Senate has on Saturday, 8th of August 2020 expressed their appreciation to the president Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the Companies and Allied Matters Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill which was Tuesday, 10 March 2020, passed by the Nigerian Senate. The Bill was thereafter presented to the president for assent after the version of the Bill passed by the House of Representatives was harmonized with the Nigerian Senate’s version. The Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 (CAMA 2020) has many clauses and provisions that will take into cognizance modern business environment and encourage growth of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMSE) in Nigeria, as against the previous one which was enacted in 1990 and amended in 2004. The Bill, to which President Muhammadu Buhari withheld assent in 2018 after the 8th National Assembly under the leadership of Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara passed it in May 2018, due to a few objections.
Chief among the matters addressed are the single member companies, financial assistance by companies to shareholders, limited liability partnerships, reduction in share capital, resolving insolvency, reducing the stringent requirements for company secretary, annual general meeting (not compulsory), exemption from audit, beneficial ownership, minority shareholders’ rights, and others.
In press statement yesterday, the Senate says that the Act will guarantee corporate accountability, as well as ease of doing business in Nigeria. Read the full statement below.
Senate commends Buhari for assenting to CAMA Bill
The Senate has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill passed by the National Assembly.
Senate Spokesman, Senator Ajibola Basiru, in a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja, said President Buhari’s assent to the bill had completed the final stage in the legislative process for the formal re-enactment of the Act repealing and replacing the CAMA law which has been in use for over 30 years.
According to the lawmaker, the President’s assent was also a clear demonstration of the mutual cooperation between the Executive arm of Government and the National Assembly towards interventions aimed at improving the nation’s economy.
The statement reads: “The Senate today received the cheering news that President Mohammed Buhari (GCFR) has assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill.By assenting the bill, Mr. President has completed the final stage in the legislative process for the formal enactment of the Act repealing and replacing the 30-year legislation.
“The assent by Mr. President to this very important piece of legislation has further demonstrated the cordial relationship between the National Assembly and the Presidency, and is also a validation by the President of the efforts of the National Assembly in providing the needed legislative interventions for the resuscitation of the nation’s economy.”
The lawmaker stressed that the intendment of the amendment as passed by the Senate and House of Representatives sought to strengthen the legal framework for the incorporation of companies which had become obsolete, as well as address several corporate legal innovations geared towards enhancing ease of doing business in Nigeria. Basiru added that the amended CAMA law, specifically accommodates provisions which insist on the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency.
“It is not in doubt that the provisions of the repealed Act had become very obsolete and therefore could not effectively address challenges being faced by companies and incorporated trustee such as business rescue for insolvent companies and the merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives.
“It is gratifying to note that the new Act provides for innovating processes and procedures to ease the operations of companies, such as introducing Statements of Compliance; replacing “authorised share capital” with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporation;and providing for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies in response to the disruptions to close contact physical meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Others include the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency,” Basiru said.
The Spokesman expressed the willingness of the Upper Chamber to continue in line with its constitutional mandate to make laws for the ‘peace, order and good governance’ of the Federation and accord the executive the necessary legislative cooperation that will promote and sustain the well-being and security of the citizenry as well as the prosperity of Nigeria.
Senator Dr Ajibola Basiru
Chairman, Senate Committee
on Media and Public Affairs
Saturday, August 8, 2020