CAC seeks legal powers to remove erring company directors

The Commission wants CAMA amended.

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is seeking legal powers to remove erring directors and officers of companies “in line with the practice in most company registries globally.’’

This formed part of the requests presented by Bello Mahmud, the CAC Registrar-General, to members of the House of Representatives Committee on Commerce on Monday in Abuja.

The lawmakers were at the commission’s head office on an oversight visit.

Mr. Mahmud said that the legal power to remove erring company directors and officers was one of the areas “which are of momentous challenges’’ to the commission. He called on the National Assembly to amend the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990, which he described as obsolete and out of tune with modern business practices.

“The Companies and Allied Matters Act CAMA No. 1 of 1990 has been in operation for over 20 years,” he said. “The law requires substantial amendments to enable the commission to keep pace with changing economic circumstances and modern business practices.’’

According to him, the law requires an amendment to strengthen the regulatory and enforcement powers of the commission and review penalties for erring companies. He added that the amendment should equally make provision for online registration of companies and define the role of the CAC in the implementation of Code of Best Practices.

Responding, the chairman of the committee, Sylvester Ogbaga, pledged the support of the House of Representatives for the CAC to address its challenges to discharge its functions effectively.

Mr. Ogbaga specifically noted the CAC’s appeal for amendment of its enabling law, saying the committee would assist in this regard. He lauded the management for its innovations “that have brought sanity and flexibility’’ into the country’s business registration process.

“I commend you for the innovations which are restoring the trust and confidence of the international community in the CAC. In the course of moving around, I did ask about the briefcase companies and I am so happy to receive the answer of their delisting and other issues associated with sanitising the system.

“We’ve also seen the transparency of the one-stop shop initiative, which is of international standard.

“Today, registration can be done directly by company owners, unlike in the past when they registered through certified lawyers which made the process cumbersome,” the lawmaker said.

The chairman expressed satisfaction with the state of facilities and infrastructure put in place by the management.

“Again, the connection of some state offices to the headquarters through fibre optical links is also commendable. Try and replicate this in other state offices in your current and future plans because it will remove a lot of inconveniences suffered by both investors and customers.

“You also told us that we can make registration within 24 hours and customers can have their certificates. This is fair enough for people to do business. These are some of the issues we think that are critical to making Nigeria one of the developed 20 economies in the world by 2020,’’ he said.


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