The Companies and Allied Matters Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill (the “CAMA Bill”) 2018, which seeks to repeal the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAP C20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (the “CAMA”), was passed by the 8th Senate after its third reading on 15 May 2018. The CAMA Bill is one of the most significant business reform bills passed in Nigeria in over 28 years. It was introduced to the Senate on 15 June 2017 and passed by the Senate within eleven months of its introduction. It is now awaiting passage by the Federal House of Representatives followed by the assent of the President.
The laudable changes to the CAMA Bill include the introduction of provisions which allow for the ease of registration of businesses by individuals, sole membership of companies and registration of Limited Liability Partnerships amongst other things. However, the CAMA Bill was not drafted to include provisions that will take cognisance of contemporary issues relating to developments in the area of Information Technology. The entire world has recorded phenomenal technological advances after the CAMA came into law. The world has become a global village with the introduction of advances such as attending meetings by electronic means namely telephonic or video conferencing, signing of documents electronically, electronic share certificates and minutes.
Given that one of the reasons behind the re-enactment of the CAMA Bill was to provide for the ease of doing business in Nigeria and thus promote direct investments into Nigeria, the inclusion of provisions which take into consideration recent developments in the field of Information Technology would be a welcome innovation. It is our hope that our Legislators will take time to include more contemporary provisions in the CAMA Bill before it is passed into law. Introducing these provisions will be a major innovative step for the Nigerian business and corporate world.
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