On 15 May 2018, the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at its plenary session, passed the Bill for an Act to Repeal the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 and enact the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2018 (the “Bill”). The Senate’s passage of the Bill has heralded a new dawn in business reform in Nigeria.

This reform is a welcome development particularly as it has been over 20 years since the promulgation of CAMA with minimal amendments during the period. The Bill, seeks to amend the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 1990 in line with global best practices. It also seeks to address existing shortcomings experienced in the course of implementing the extant law.

Prior to the passage of the Bill, the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, reviewed the proposed amendments in line with recommendations received via memoranda from various institutions and organizations including the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange; The Nigeria Bar Association – Section on Business Law, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated; and the Nigerian Network of Non-Governmental Organisations (“NNNGO”).

The Bill, if and when it does receive presidential assent, is expected to boost Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index and ensure that the Nigerian system of company law and corporate governance is one which would enhance shareholder engagement, promote long term investments and establish Nigeria as the African hub for the set up and operation of businesses.