Tag Archives: CAMA 1990

Buhari assures CAMA 2020 Act will ensure Corruption-free Nigeria.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 recently signed into law would enhance transparency and corporate accountability and help the fight against corruption.

In a statement issued on Thursday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina disclosed that President Buhari was addressing a high-level summit of the United Nations General Assembly.

Adesina said his principal spoke in a video message presented at the Open Government Partnership 2020 Virtual Leaders’ Summit on the sidelines of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States.

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“Since the inception of our administration in 2015, the government has been committed to changing international and domestic perceptions regarding Nigeria’s commitment to fight corruption and foster good governance,” President Buhari said.

“We focused on the task of dealing head-on with this destructive monster, which led to us joining the Open Government Partnership and making reform commitments such as to establish a public central register of beneficial owners of corporate entities.

“Since then, we have made significant progress in implementing tougher anti-corruption measures, including my recent assent to the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020.

“The Act provides a legal framework for the implementation of Beneficial Ownership Information Disclosure in Nigeria.

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”Being an OGP member-country has helped Nigeria learn from other countries tackling similar challenges, and to build a coalition to support these reforms across the private sector and civil society. It has also aided our journey towards building citizens’ trust in government.”

Speaking on the COVID-19 pandemic, the President said that governments cannot solve all the challenges of the pandemic alone.

He explained that it is only through open governance and working with citizens that nations can succeed.

“We face a significant contraction in the global economy in 2020; the world is facing the unprecedented twin challenges of managing the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.”

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“In these times, citizens worldwide are seeking more information, engagement, and support from their governments,” President Buhari added.

‘Unacceptable, Ungodly’
Buhari’s remarks come seven weeks after he signed the CAMA Act, a development which has sparked debates among religious leaders.

CAN, the umbrella body of Christians had “outrightly” rejected the Act, describing it as “unacceptable, ungodly, reprehensible, and an ill-wind that blows no one any good. It is a time bomb waiting to explode.”

A statement by CAN said while the body is not against the government’s resolve to fight corruption, “the Church cannot be controlled by the government because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations.”

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While speaking during the recently-concluded conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Vice President Osinbajo gave an insight into why CAMA has raised eyebrows among Christians.

“As a general position, I do not think it will be right to say that pastors don’t want to be accountable,” he said.

“I believe that several Christian organizations and pastors are willing to be accountable. The problem that they may have is ensuring that processes are not abused in such a way as to compromise the entire organization.

“And I think that if all that is required is some process of accountability, I think it will be easier for organizations to accept that.”


#Newsworthy…

Religious bodies not CAMA target – Nigerian Govt.

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Former Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly matters, and Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, has said the controversial Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 does not target churches and religious bodies as some Nigerians assume.

He argued that sections of the Act being disputed by religious bodies, especially Christians, were not new and had been in the 1990 Act, which was recently amended.

Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had recently called on President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the implementation of the Act.

But speaking when he led a delegation on a visit to the President of CAN, Rev Dr. Samson Ayokunle, to discuss the controversial CAMA 2020 yesterday in Abuja, Enang said Buhari had no bad intention against Christianity or any other religion, adding that the Act, having become law by assent, only the National Assembly could amend it.

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Enang told the CAN President the only option left was to sponsor a bill to the National Assembly to amend the Act.

He recalled that Incorporated Trustees or Law of Trust was regulated by Companies and Allied Matter Act 1990 before the National Assembly passed CAMA 2020 and the President assented to it.

He said the President had withheld assent to the amendment over disputed sections but later signed the Act into law when it seemed the conflict areas were cleared.

He argued that the Act, having become a law, could not be tampered with by the President except CAN sponsored an amendment bill to amend sections it considered offensive.

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The CAN Director of Legal services, Comfort Chigbue, however, noted that from the reactions of stakeholders, it seemed the Act did not receive input from interest groups or failed to accommodate their views.

“Without prejudice to our observations, such a law ought to welcome and accommodate the sundry and varying interests of the Nigerian people,” the lawyer said.

Chigbue said CAN was mindful that comments in public domain were beginning to indicate that CAMA 2020 had the potential to undermine the faith of stakeholders in Nigeria, stressing that reactions from public officeholders had not helped matters because they were “binary in perspective and pander towards a fait accompli.”

She said, “The dominant schools of thought in the public domain hold the view that should stakeholders of the Nigerian State seek judicial intervention or amendment of the Act by the National Assembly, they shall achieve nothing much, as they consider such exercises in futility.

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We must allay their fears and encourage them to exercise their democratic rights in our participatory democracy; hoping that when citizens approach these state institutions, they shall rise up to the challenge.”

“Mr. President, from the foregoing, we are of the opinion that you should kindly issue the appropriate directives to suspend the implementation of CAMA 2020 and affirm thorough reappraisal of the legislation that is in correlation with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended), other extant legal and policy frameworks, the national economy, national security, national interest and the well-being of the Nigerian-state.”

She lamented that the association had not been availed with the Act made up of 870 sections and sundry and complex schedules and addendum.

“We consider the Act, as indeed, a complex of statecraft compendium, laden with issues that are grossly inimical to national interest, security (- peace and stability), and overall wellbeing of the Nigerian-state,” she added.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Condemn implementation of CAMA – CAN tells Buhari.

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The Christian Association of Nigeria on Tuesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the implementation of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).

The suspension request was contained in an email statement forwardedby the office of CAN’s President, Rev. Olasupo Ayokunle. Noble Reporters Media extracts

The CAMA has generated controversy since it was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 7.

The Act has serious consequences for the functioning of nonprofits, including churches, in the country, critics have said.

CAN, in its letter to Buhari on Tuesday, said it is yet to view a full copy of the Act.

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“We consider the Act, as indeed, a complex of statecraft compendium, laden with issues that are grossly inimical to national interest, security (- peace and stability), and overall wellbeing of the Nigerian-state,” the statement said.

CAN vilified the Act for not receiving input from “various interest groups” or for failing “to accommodate their views.”

It also suggested there was no point in seeking “judicial intervention or amendment of the Act by the National Assembly” as such “shall achieve nothing much.”

“Mr. President . . . we are of the opinion that you should kindly issue the appropriate directives to suspend the implementation of CAMA 2020 and affirm a thorough reappraisal of the legislation that is in correlation with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended), other extant legal and policy frameworks, the national economy, national security, national interest and the wellbeing of the Nigerian-state,” the CAN statement ended.

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READ CAN’S FULL STATEMENT:

President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR
State House
Abuja

Mr. President,

We respectfully acknowledge the invitation extended to us to make an input into the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020 following the myriad of objections that attended the enactment of the Act.

While we sincerely appreciate the courtesy of your invitation, we are however constrained from doing so on the following grounds:

  1. We are yet to be availed with the authentic version of the voluminous Act, made up of 870 sections besides the sundry and complex schedules and addendum. We consider the Act, as indeed, a complex of statecraft compendium, laden with issues that are grossly inimical to national interest, security (- peace and stability), and overall wellbeing of the Nigerian-state.
  2. From the reactions of stakeholders and a cross-section of the Nigerian-state, it is apparent that the Act either did not receive input from the respective various interest groups or failed to accommodate their views, sundry concerns and varying interests of the Nigerian people. Without prejudice to our observations, such a law ought to welcome and accommodate the sundry and varying interests of the Nigerian people.
  3. Furthermore, we are mindful that comments in public domain are beginning to indicate that CAMA, 2020 has the potential that can further undermine the faith of stakeholders in the Nigerian-state. The reactions from public officeholders have not helped matters because they are binary in perspective and pander towards a fait accompli.
  4. The dominant schools of thought in the public domain, hold the view that should stakeholders of the Nigerian-state seek judicial intervention or amendment of the Act by the National Assembly, they shall achieve nothing much, as they consider such, as exercises in futility. We must allay their fears and encourage them to exercise their democratic rights in our participatory democracy; hoping that when citizens approach these state institutions, they shall rise up to the challenge.

Mr. President, from the foregoing, we are of the opinion that you should kindly issue the appropriate directives to suspend the implementation of CAMA 2020 and affirm a thorough reappraisal of the legislation that is in correlation with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended), other extant legal and policy frameworks, the national economy, national security, national interest and the wellbeing of the Nigerian-state.

In order to participate actively in such an exercise, you may wish to kindly furnish us with an official version as assented by you. This will enable us do the due diligence required, please.

Once more, do accept the assurances of our esteemed consideration as we pray for the continued presence and Will of the Almighty God of all-creation by the Holy Spirit in Nigeria through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Savior, Redeemer and soon coming KING. (Amen)

SOURCE: NOBLE REPORTERS MEDIA


#Newsworthy…

CAMA: Religious leaders are worried – Osinbajo

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Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the major concern of religious leaders with the recently enacted Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 is the fear that the processes are not abused in a way that compromises the entire structure and operation of the organisation

Professor Osinbajo who spoke during the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference on Thursday stated that these leaders want to be accountable, contrary to views based on reactions to a section of the act.

He maintained that the CAMA 2020 is massive legislation that covers a wide range of issues on companies and if a section is contentious, what the aggrieved parties can do is to approach the National Assembly and propose an amendment.

“As a general position, I do not think it will be right to say that pastors don’t want to be accountable. I believe that several Christian organizations and pastors are willing to be accountable. The problem that they may have is ensuring that processes are not abused in such a way as to compromise the entire organization. And I think that if all that is required is some process of accountability, I think it will be easier for organizations to accept that.

“The concern of the Churches is that it could lead to a situation where practically anybody could be appointed as a trustee to oversee the Church and a Church or a Mosque is a spiritual organization and if you do not share the same faith with the Church or Mosque, you may be the wrong person and if a wrong is appointed, you may create more trouble for the organization.

“What can be done is that, whatever the proposal for amendment may be, whatever the views of the leadership of the church may be, regarding the question of how the trustees, whether they are interim trustees or not, can be put in the form of a proposal that will be taken to the National Assembly for consideration for an amendment to the law, that is the process which is entirely opened and ought to be pursued,” the Vice President added.

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CAMA Fears
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the CAMA bill into law in August, repealing and replacing the extant 1990 act, with the aim that the new legislation will be the most significant in three decades, promoting the ease of doing business, while reducing regulatory hurdles in the country.

However, a portion of the legislative piece tagged Incorporated Trustees, states that religious bodies and charity organisations will now be strictly regulated by the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission and the supervising minister.

Additional clauses in the act show that the commission can suspend the trustees of an association and appoint an interim manager to run the affairs of the organisation

File: The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, gives a speech virtually at the NBA Annual General Conference on August 27, 2020. (Noble Reporters Media //)

But Vice President Osinbajo clarified that the section will affect these organisations; “Churches, Mosques, and church organizations are regarded as charities. It is the Incorporated Trustees Section of the Companies and Allied Matters Act that has become controversial. And because churches are charities, the provisions in the incorporated trustees’ section obviously affect the churches.

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“What the Churches are concerned about is a provision that says that in the event that some wrong-doing is found to be perpetrated by the trustees of the particular organization or Church, the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) can go to court and get an order to appoint interim administrators or interim trustees for the Church or whichever charity organization and manage the organization.”

C.A.N Talks Tough
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) kicked against the act and called on President Buhari to suspend the law in the interest of the country.

“While we are not against the government fighting corruption wherever it may be found, yet we completely reject the idea of bringing the Church, which is technically grouped among the NGOs, under control of the government. The Church cannot be controlled by the government because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations. This is why we are calling on the Federal government to stop the implementation of the obnoxious and ungodly law until the religious institutions are exempted from it.

“How can the government sack the trustee of a church which it contributed no dime to establish? How can a secular and political minister be the final authority on the affairs and management of another institution which is not political? For example, how can a non-Christian head of Government Ministry be the one to determine the running of the church? It is an invitation to the trouble that the government does not have the power to manage. Let the government face the business of providing infrastructure for the people.”


#Newsworthy…

Churches can’t be controlled by Government – CAN tackles CAMA.

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has rejected “outrightly” the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 7.

“The law, to say the least, is unacceptable, ungodly, reprehensible, and an ill-wind that blows no one any good. It is a time bomb waiting to explode,” said a statement by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the Special Assistant on Media and Communications) to CAN President, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle.

CAN’s position is in strong contrast to that of the Presidency which hailed the new law as innovative and “geared toward enhancing the ease of doing business in the country”.

In its statement on Thursday, CAN made clear that its grouse was not with efforts by the government to fight corruption but a section of the Act that contained what it said amounted to an attempt to bring churches under government control.

CAN President, Rev. Samuel Ayokunle (file photo). The Christian Association of Nigeria wants the Companies and Allied Act, 2020, amended.

“The satanic section of the controversial and ungodly law is Section 839 (1) &(2) which empowers the Commission to suspend trustees of an association (in this case, the church) and appoint the interim managers to manage the affairs of the association for some given reasons,” it said.

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“While we are not against the government fighting corruption wherever it may be found, we completely reject the idea of bringing the Church, which is technically grouped among the NGOs, under control of the government. The Church cannot be controlled by the government because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations.”

Based on its position, the association expects the federal government to change course and amend the law.

It said, “This is why we are calling on the Federal government to stop the implementation of the obnoxious and ungodly law until the religious institutions are exempted from it.

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently return the law to the National Assembly for immediate amendment. Nigeria should not be compared with any other nation when it comes to the relationship between religious institutions and the government. In Nigeria, people’s religions are tied to their humanity and of course, their life.”

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Should the government insist on implementing the law, CAN believes it would amount to an affront to Christianity.

“If the government is bent on imposing a law on us which the entire Church in Nigeria is against, then, they have declared war on Christianity and the agenda to destroy the Church which we have spoken against before now is coming to the open more clearly,” it said.

“If you cannot give us good amenities of life, we would not allow you to take away our liberty to worship our Maker.”

CAN is surprised that President Buhari signed the CAMA Bill into law with such a section in it because it had initially rejected moves to bring the church under government regulation during the President’s first term.

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It said, “We recall that during the first term of the President, there was a public hearing conducted by the National Assembly on the Non- Governmental Organisations Bill tagged ‘Bill for an Act To Provide For The Establishment Of The Non-Governmental Organisations Regulatory Commission For The Supervision, Co-ordination And Monitoring Of Non-Governmental Organisations’ which was attended by CAN and many NGOs.

“At the Public Hearing, the Bill that sought to bring the religious organisations and NGOs under the control and influence of the government was totally rejected because it would snuff life out of the church and rank the church as a secular institution under secular control.

“We thought it was all over until we heard of the CAMA that was assented to by the President, making the rejected bill a law.”

Defending its position against the law, CAN questioned what right the government had to control an institution it did not establish.

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It is also concerned about the implication of allow secular officials to superintend over spiritual matters, arguing that, ultimately, the government had specific responsibilities to focus on.

“How can the government sack the trustee of a church which it contributed no dime to establish? How can a secular and political minister be the final authority on the affairs and management of another institution which is not political? it asked.

“For example, how can a non-Christian head of Government Ministry be the one to determine the running of the church? It is an invitation to trouble that the government does not have power to manage.

“Let the government face the business of providing infrastructure for the people. Let them focus on better health provision, food, education, adequate security employment, etc. The government should not be a busy body in a matter that does not belong to it. The government does not have the technical expertise to run the church of God because of its spiritual nature.”


#Newsworthy…

Buhari signs amended CAMA 1990 bill after 30 years

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President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2020 recently passed by the National Assembly.

The President’s action on this important piece of legislation, therefore, repealed and replaced the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990, introducing after 30 years, several corporate legal innovations geared toward enhancing the ease of doing business in the country.

Such innovations include: Filing fee reductions and other reforms to make it easier and cheaper for small and medium-sized enterprises to register and reform their businesses in Nigeria;

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Allowing 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;

Innovating 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;

Requiring the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency; and

Enhancing the minority shareholder protection and engagement; introducing enhanced business rescue reforms for insolvent companies; and permitting the merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives.


#Newsworthy…

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