Williams Anuku Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has finally assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2020 recently passed by the National Assembly.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu in a statement on Friday, explained that the Presidential assent therefore, repeal and replaces the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990.
The battle to amend the Act has spanned 30 years. It is expected to engender corporate legal innovations geared toward enhancing ease of doing business in the country.
Among features of the new Act is cost effectiveness in filing fees including other reforms to make it easier and cheaper for small and medium-sized enterprises to register and reform their businesses in Nigeria.
Shehu explained that it would allow corporate promoters of companies to establish private companies with a single member or shareholder, and creating limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships to give investors and business people alternative forms of carrying out their business in an efficient and flexible way;
It will bring about innovative processes and procedures to ease the operations of companies, such as introducing Statements of Compliance; replacing “authorised share capital” with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies; and providing for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies in response to the disruptions to close contact physical meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, the Act would require the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency; while enhancing the minority shareholder protection and engagement.
“It would provide enhanced business rescue reforms for insolvent companies; and permitting the merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives, “the presidency noted.