President Muhammadu Buhari
By Raphael Ekpang
The Nigerian Senate has said that the signing into law of the Companies and Allied Matters (repeal and Re-enactment) Act, 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari was a confirmation to the harmonious working relationship between the 9th National Assembly and Executive arm of the government.
Corereporters reports that President Buhari on Friday assented to the Companies and Allied Matters (repeal and Re-enactment) Act bill, 2020 into law thereby bringing a 30 year old agitation to create a legal framework in line with modern business practice in Nigeria to an end.
The Senate in a press statement issued on Saturday by its Spokesman and Public Affairs Committee Chairman, Senator Bashiru Ajibola said the assent of the President was ‘cheering news.’
The statement reads in part: “The Senate today received the cheering news that President Mohammed Buhari (GCFR) has assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Act 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 intendment of the amendment as passed by the Senate and House of Representatives was to strengthen the legal framework for the incorporation of companies, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, registration of business names together with incorporation of trustees of certain communities, bodies, associations; and incidental matters to address several corporate legal innovations geared towards enhancing ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“It is not in doubt that the provisions of the repealed Act had become very obsolete and therefore could not effectively address challenges being faced by companies and incorporated trustees such as business rescue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 incorporating companies; 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.
Also the Senate Spokesman said that the Senate and indeed the 9th National Assembly was not relenting in its avowed efforts to deploy quality legislative inputs to improve the living conditions of Nigerians and cushion the negative effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ajibola stated that the Senate aside from passing the CAMA Act “has demonstrated commitment to legislative interventions to reposition the Nigerian economy, particularly to cushion the disruptions occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic. It has recently passed a new Banks and Other Financial Institutions Bill, Railways Bill, Police Bill among other legislations waiting concurrence by the House of Representatives and assent by Mr. President.