President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the Senate seeking an amendment to a section of Nigeria’s current Companies and Allied Matters (CAMA) law.
His message was contained in a letter read out by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the start of plenary on Thursday.
In the letter, the president wants to preserve the powers of the Attorney-General of the Federation to approve the registration of companies limited by guarantee.
“Pursuant to Section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, I hereby forward the Companies and Allied Matters and other related matters Bill 2019 for consideration and passage into law by the Senate.
“The Senate may wish to note that in this bill, Section 26(5) of the extant companies and Allied Matters Act has been amended to:
a. Preserve the powers of the Attorney-General of the Federation to approve the registration of companies limited by guarantee and
b. Reflect the ease of doing business principles in a veto order (1) of 2017 on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment.
“While I look forward to the usual expeditious consideration and passage of this bill, please accept the assurances of my highest consideration,” the letter read.
The Senate passed a bill to repeal and re-enact the CAMA in May 2018 to, among others, make it possible for individuals to register their companies from any part of the world.
The bill came 28 years after the passage of the original Companies and Allied Matters Act and is expected to make Nigeria the best country in Africa to do business in.
The bill was transmitted to the president in May but has not been assented to.
The bill, if signed into law, is expected to provide significant benefits to companies by reducing red tape and making it easier to comply with regulatory obligations.
The amendments are aimed at encouraging investments that will allow small businesses and startups thrive, lower costs and ease regulatory burdens. Changes included in the bill will mean that many of the over 75,000 private companies limited by shares which are established in Nigeria every year will be able to incorporate more easily.
In addition, small companies will no longer be required to have a company secretary or hold Annual General Meetings and the requirement for statutory declaration of compliance has also been removed.
Minimum share capital required for companies to be registered has also been reduced to encourage more investments in small companies; and individuals will no longer need a lawyer to register a company.