In August 2020, the Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2020(CAMA) passed by the National Assembly was signed by President Mohammadu Buhari replacing the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 to encourage ease of doing business within the country.
Provisions of Newly Signed Law
- Cheaper fees for small and medium-sized enterprises to register and reform their businesses in Nigeria.
- Establishment of private companies with a single member or shareholder.
- Disclosure of people with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency.
- The merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives.
- Optional appointment of the company secretary.
- Optional procurement of Common seal.
The Registrar-General of CAC, Alhaji Garba Abubakar stated the law went into effect on January 1st but companies have been given until March 31st to update their information.
Already the implementation has started and we have upgraded software that allows you to register your company electronically. The law has come with a lot of innovations and changes to some of the old provisions of CAMA 1990, so we needed to make some changes to bring them up-to-date, consistent with the new law. We needed to make necessary changes to the Registration software to accommodate the reforms introduced by the new law, and that took some time. The portal started working on Jan. 3 and customers are already using it; so from the comfort of your home or using your own phone, you can now register your company
For the first time, post-incorporation filings are also being done electronically, in the past they were done manually. The upgrade has also introduced a new interface that allows for post-registration; so when you register your company, you can change your directors without having to come to CAC.
The law was strongly opposed by religious bodies last year claiming it was an attack on the church and a way to control their resources.