Chuks Okocha and Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Senate has commenced moves to strengthen the country’s economy by giving a boost to the business sector in Nigeria.
The upper chamber, in a bid to realise this target, will on March 10, 2020, consider a critical bill which specifically seeks to amend the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
The piece of legislation, which was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC-Kebbi North), proposes to amend the Companies and Allied Matters Act (Chapter C20) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (CAMA).
The law, which has not been significantly amended in the last 28 years, was enacted in Nigeria as a decree of the military government in 1990.
According to a summary on the bill, when passed into law by the ninth Assembly, the business landscape in Nigerian will be reorganised and liberated hitherto from the heavy constraints of several provisions in the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 responsible for obstructing modern business practices in the light of national and global business reforms.
The bill also seeks to provide an efficient means of regulating businesses, minimise the compliance burden of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), enhance transparency and shareholder engagement as well as promote a friendly business climate in Nigeria.
The legislation presently before the National Assembly will also address the seeming stagnancy and primitive methods of doing business in Nigeria, essentially to meet up with the present international best practice as well as promote ease of doing business.
The introduction of model netting provisions in the bill as a means of mitigating credit risks, according to Abdullahi, would promote financial stability and investor’s confidence in the Nigerian financial sector and increase investor’s confidence in all Nigerian sectors of the economy.
Similarly, economic impact of the provisions of the bill would ensure more business-friendly regulation for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The amendment to CAMA is also expected to have the potential to increase activities of MSMEs, with the overall effect of growing the Nigerian economy in the process; providing more jobs and guaranteeing economic stability.
Reacting to the introduction of the bill by the ninth Assembly, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, said its passage and assent into law would rank Nigeria in the first 100 countries in ease of doing business.
According to him, the Senate will expeditiously consider and pass the bill into law given its significance towards strengthening the economy.
“Presently, we are one 131 in the ranking of doing business in the world.
“If we pass the CAMA bill, and the president signs it, we will move to be within the first 100; that means we will jump over 30 positions to be a better country in the ease of doing business. So, it is a very important bill for all of us.
“Of course, in the last Senate, all the processes were conducted on this bill, so there will be no need for us to waste too much time on it,” Lawan said.