The updated Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) in Nigeria is a good policy. With a minor update, it has a promise to unlock massive investments while boosting economic growth. For me, the new CAMA is very close to what you have in most modern economies except that it went deep into the affairs of religious organizations and non-profit organizations.
With what we have seen with AMCON, the bad debt agency in Nigeria, I would not trust Aso Rock (of today and the near future) to have the accrued powers, as stated in the Act, over nonprofits, churches, (and mosques). That one is a no go area: they can take over a church school and sell it off because we have seen that playbook in the past. Today, no one has clearly stated what happened to stocks of Bank PHB even though that bank was traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Until we can do simple things, governments should leave churches (and mosques) alone.
I support the religious leaders who are asking the government to amend that section. Aso Rock over the years have not shown discipline to be trusted with sacred assets. If a pastor criticizes a government, that church would be in trouble with the assets frozen, and management changed. You can say that about imams and mosques. Giving politicians a legal tool to suspend, fire and change religious and non-profit leaders will not be wise. Governments should focus on the capital markets and fix them before thinking of helping churches. If you check, our churches do not need help as we are the fastest growing market in that domain in the world. Abuja can stop that growth with New CAMA. Yes, it is working – leave it alone.
So, if you can ignore the above noted issue, this Act is what Nigeria needs now. Here are five key things in the Act which you will like:
- 1.the insolvency provisions to help companies in distress
- 2.Restriction on the number of public companies in which a person can serve as a director
- 3. Ability of an individual to form a single-shareholder company
- 4.Replacement of authorized capital with minimum share capital
- 5.Electronic filing, virtual meetings and electronic share transfers.