The Senate on Tuesday passed the 28 year-old Companies and Allied Matters Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill.
The bill, which is one of the economic recovery bills before the National Assembly, seeks to amend the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 1990 in line with global best practices.
It also seeks to address existing shortcomings experienced in the course of implementing the extant law.
The bill heralds a new dawn for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) development in Nigeria, as the country will now join a select group of countries with attractive investment environments.
Once harmonised with the House of Representatives and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, the bill is expected to boost Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index.
Nigeria moved up 24 points in the Ease of Doing Business index for 2018. The country currently ranks 145th position out of 190 countries.
The bill will help to make Nigeria’s business environment as competitive as its counterparts around the world; allow business owners to now register their businesses in a faster and more efficient way — using technology; removes all the unnecessary regulatory provisions such as the requirement for ‘annual general meetings’ and ‘company secretaries’; and reduce the minimum share capital for all companies and start-ups in Nigeria, which will encourage more investments and create new jobs.
CAMA will also create the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) which is a new form of legal identity for businesses in Nigeria, targeted at increasing foreign investment in the country as well as give legal backing to enable Nigerians register their businesses from anywhere in the country through e-Registration system.
Speaking after the bill passed Third Reading at plenary on Tuesday, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, stated that the enactment of CAMA was a significant milestone in the 8th Senate’s Legislative Agenda.
He said the 8th Senate has made history with the repeal and re-enactment of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), adding that this is biggest business reform bill ever passed by any legislature in the country.
“With the passage of CAMA, which is by far the biggest and one of the most far-reaching legislation ever passed in any legislature in our country, we have now put in place a regulatory framework to promote the ease of doing business and reduce regulatory hurdles.
“This is a pro-business law. This bill that we have just passed will show the audacity that we have to move Nigerian businesses into a new era of success and development,” Saraki said.
“We are truly now walking the talk,” the President of the Senate said, “With the passage of CAMA, we are saying to the rest of the world that Nigeria is ready for business and the government of Nigeria is ready to support small scale industries to promote innovations, and encourage enterprise.
“It will not have been done without the effort of all my colleagues. I thank you for this great day in showing that truly the National Assembly is here in support of Nigerians to create an environment that enables them to be able to create business and seek opportunities,” he added.