Politics Nigeria eases company registration Act for start-ups and young entrepreneurs

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The repealing of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) is seen as the biggest business reform bill in Nigeria in over 28 years.

Nigeria eases company registration Act for start-ups and young entrepreneurs play Nigeria eases company registration Act for start-ups and young entrepreneurs (Twitter/Bukola Saraki)
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Nigeria has re-enacted laws governing the registration of companies to make it more flexible, technological driven and less regulatory bottlenecks for businesses, including start-ups and entrepreneurs.

The Nigerian parliament on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, made history by removing the regulatory lapses and bottlenecks for opening businesses, with the passage of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA). The repealing of the Company Act is seen as the biggest business reform bill in Nigeria in over 28 years.

The Bill was sponsored by the embattled senator, Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central Senatorial District).

Bukola Saraki, president of the Senate said the passage of the repeal and re-enactment of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) is a significant milestone in the legislative agenda.

This is by far the most far-reaching legislation ever passed by any legislature in the country.”

“CAMA is a pro-business law. Its passage will show the world that 'Nigeria is ready for business.' By passing this Bill, the 8th Senate has shown that it has the audacity to move Nigerian businesses into a new era of development,” Saraki explained.

If approved and signed into law by the president, the company Act will create a new form of legal identity for businesses in Nigeria, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), which is expected to increase foreign investment and enable Nigerian register their businesses online.

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Here are few highlights of the re-enacted Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA)

1. It will make Nigeria’s business environment as competitive as its counterparts around the world – The new Bill seeks to improve companies’ chances of attracting much-needed investment since there are no provisions in the Bill which enable shareholders/potential shareholders have access to funds which in turn enable them to invest in such companies.  

2. With CAMA, one person can now open and run a company - good for start-ups and young entrepreneurs – unlike before that regulation required two or more people.

3. It promotes the use of technology in the registration of businesses.

4. CAMA removes all the unnecessary regulatory provisions for small companies

5. It reduces the minimum share capital for companies and start-up in Nigeria. In the new Bill, a company can reduce its share capital,  if a special resolution to that effect is passed, without the burden of applying to the court for a confirmation of the reduction.

6. It ensures that Nigerians can now register their businesses from anywhere in the country through the e-registration system.

7. The creates a new form of legal entity – Limited Liability Company -  this combines the organizational flexibility and tax status of a partnership with limited liability for its members.

Bismarck Rewane, MD of Financial Derivatives said: “The re-enactment of the CAMA will make the ease of doing business in Nigeria to be much more convenient, and this further compliments the efforts by the ease of doing business committee championed by Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice president of Nigeria.

Ease of Doing Business: Nigeria ranked 130 out of 190 economies on the “Starting a Business” indicator

The amendment of the Act is coming at a time Nigeria was ranked 145th out of 190 economies in the 2018 World Bank Doing Business (WBDB) Ranking Index.

One of the indicators of the WBDB is the relative ease or difficulty in establishing and running a business in Nigeria.

In this regard, Nigeria is ranked on the Starting a Business indicator as 130 out of 190 economies and for the first time was also recognised as one of the top ten (10) most improved economies in the world.

The re-enactment of the company registration procedure will definitely improve Nigeria’s ranking and help the government push its executive order on ease of the doing business in the country.