By Emma Okonji and Peter Uzoho
PwC Nigeria has highlighted the significance of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 (CAMA 2020), while insisting that the new legislation will impact positively on small businesses, if well implemented.
PwC however warned that lack of public trust in government over its intention to implement the new CAMA law, could hamper the implementation process.
Fiscal Policy Partner and West Africa Tax Leader at PwC, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, who delivered a paper titled “CAMA 2020, Nigeria’s Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business”, during the virtual Capability Enhancement Workshop for Journalists, organised by PwC recently, provided an overview of the new law, which he noted, remained the most important business regulation in Nigeria especially as it has significant impact on the ease of doing business, competitiveness, attracting investments, and economic growth.
He observed the controversies it has generated before providing analysis of the key provisions and changes introduced by the new law, compared to the old version of the law that had been in operation since 1990.
Oyedele stated the need to gazette the law with a future commencement date to facilitate ease of transition while emphasizing the importance of effective implementation.
According to him, “The new law encourages the growth of small businesses, which are the engine houses for fast economic development of nations. It also encourages foreign companies to invest in Nigeria through the ease of doing business. The only controversial aspect of the 600-page document, is on the regulation of NGOs and churches, which government must be careful about to avoid over regulation.”
He emphasised the need to harmonise CAMA with other laws such as the Companies Income Tax Act, which still requires audited accounts by all companies regardless of size.
Oyedele advised that the new law should be kept under constant review with more frequent amendments or re-enactment in every five years.
Partner and Chief Economist at PwC Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Nevin, who also delivered a paper on ‘Economic Sustainability: Tracking and Reporting the Metrics that Matter, at the annual PwC workshop, which is now in its seventh year, advised journalists to always track key metrics such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other policy pronouncements of governments, which could be used to benchmark their analysis on government statistics and enrich their general reporting on the economy.
Editor-in-Chief at Stears Business, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, facilitated a session on ‘Journalism and the New Normal: Challenges and Opportunities’ during which he shared the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on news consumption patterns and what this means for the fortunes of journalists and their media houses. He noted that in times of uncertainty, trustworthy reporting becomes even more important than the speed to break the news.
The annual PwC workshop, which is now in its seventh year, is a key component of PwC’s Corporate Responsibility strategy. It was instituted in recognition of the very important role of the media in society.
The capacity enhancement workshop precedes the award gala-nite for the announcement of winners of this year’s PwC Media Excellence Awards, which is scheduled to hold virtually on October 2, 2020.
“Our support for the media through this workshop and the media excellence award is in line with our purpose which is to build trust in society and solve important problems.
It is a demonstration of our strong belief that for the Nigerian people to enjoy good governance, the media must perform its role optimally and professionally and this is reflected in the quality of reporting, in the capacity of individual journalists to carry out research and investigations, in the independence of editorial judgments, and in their ability to use technology as an enabler,” Oyedele said.