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CSOs decry dangers in sections of CAMA Law

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Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) came together yesterday in Abuja to review sections of the Companies and Allied Matters Acts (CAMA) signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020 and called for the amendment of sections under Part F of the Act.

They ventilated at a stakeholders roundtable on CAMA 2020, organised by YIAGA Africa to review emerging issues towards further legislation.

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Even as they acknowledged the importance and benefits of CAMA to ease of doing business in the country, they faulted the section under part F that empowered the government to appoint interim managers for new businesses.

The Programme Director of YIAGA, Cynthia Mbamalu, said beyond the organisation’s objectives, it doesn’t make sense to have an outsider or regulatory body that does not understand the shared values and purposes of establishing a body to interfere in the decision-making process.

She noted that the body observed that there are certain Provisions in the existing CAMA, which have the potential to limit and restrict the operations of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria.

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According to Mbamalu, the restrictions would also affect Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), religious bodies, faith-based organisations, and even media and institutions that are registered with the government.

She said: “While the passage of the law is an important thing because what it did was to actually review the previous law and provide better regulations for ease of doing business and engagement of even Civil Society in Nigeria.

“… Our goal is to work with other stakeholders to review specific sections that are problematic and make proposals for further Amendment to the sections under Part F of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.”

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Noting that there was already a bill presented at the House of Representatives proposing an amendment to sections 839 of the law, Mbamalu said CSOs are also hoping there will be another introduction in the Senate to also amend other sections under Part F of CAMA Act.

She added: “There is no perfect law and for every law that would potentially affect the freedom of exercise or fundamental freedom in Nigeria, especially fundamental human rights, we need to ensure that those laws are reasonably justifiable in a democratic society…”

Presenting key findings from the analysis of CAMA 2020, Dr. Godwin Malasowe said the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has too much on its plate and urged the Federal Government to unbundle it.

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