The Companies Allied Matters Act (CAMA) amendment bill has passed the third reading at the House of Representatives.
The Bill, which was passed by the Senate in 2018 is the largest business reform bill to be passed in Nigeria in over 28 years, as it represents the re-enactment of the existing Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 (CAMA).
According to Jumoke Oduwole, secretary of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the development “signifies meaningful progress towards aligning business practices, which had been heavily constrained by several provisions in the old 1990 Act, with global standards as it speaks to all matters affecting a company, from incorporation to winding up and insolvency”.
Ms Oduwole says “The Bill directly affects the influx of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Nigeria due to its relevance to the ease of doing business and investing in Nigeria,”
“A key thrust of the Bill is therefore aimed at simplifying the process of starting and growing a business in Nigeria by abolishing the requirement for a company to have authorized share capital, enabling a single person to form a private company, introducing for the first time a business rescue process, and introducing the concept of limited liability partnership.
“It also ensures more appropriate regulation for micro, small and medium scale enterprises, by making it optional for smaller companies to have a company secretary, comply with accounting requirements, and for one-man and small companies to hold an annual general meeting, as well as introducing separate models of articles of association for private companies.
According to the legislative brief of the new bill, its new features will make doing business in Nigeria a lot easier with the aim of improving its standing in World Bank Doing Business (WBDB) ranking index.
Oduwole said it is a “significant hurdle crossed in efforts to help businesses grow in Nigeria”, and in driving the nation’s Ease of Doing Business ranking:
“We congratulate every Nigerian on this achievement, and we applaud the several partners that came together in partnership to make this work. We look forward to receiving the Bill for Mr President’s assent, and we are confident of the benefits this will bring to businesses to drive exponential growth in the next few years,” the statement quoted her as saying.
The PEBEC secretary who also doubles as the senior special adviser on Industry, Trade & Investment to President Muhammadu Buhari had said the council will pursue specifically the passage of the CAMA and Omnibus Bills.
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