From August 7, 2022, individuals in Nigeria can no longer be directors in more than five public companies. Assistant Director of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Tolulope Adeola Sonaike, said so in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
Sonaike who was a keynote speaker at the 2022 Governance Practitioners day, an event of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) explained that some of the new provisions of CAMA 2020 and the complementary Companies Regulations (CR) 2021 have redefined the business landscape in Nigeria and need professional guidance.
The event was hosted by the Akwa Ibom chapter of the body led by its Chairman, Ime Asibong, a lawyer.
At the event, new provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA 2020), and the Companies Regulations (CR) 2021 took the centre stage.
Naija News gathered that the event was attended by ICSAN President and Chairman of the Governing Council, Taiwo Gbenga Owokolade, who led other national officers with the theme, ‘The New Scope of Opportunities For Governance Practitioners Under CAMA 2020 And 2021 Companies Regulations’.
Sonaike highlighted changes to the CAMA that public and private companies need to implement before stipulated deadlines.
He commended ICSAN in Akwa Ibom for leading the conversation on the new provisions, stating that there is a revision of the minimum issued share capital for private and public companies and the cancellation of unissued share capital within the timeline for existing companies to comply.
‘’Companies now need to amend their articles of association to permit e-meetings and also have a register of Persons with Significant Control as well as a register for Substantial Shareholders in Public Companies’’, he said.
Continuing, Sonaike said that the changes are numerous and urged Governance practitioners to take advantage of the new scope of opportunities in the CAMA 2020.
Chairman of ICSAN in Akwa Ibom, Ime Asibong, said after the event that the changes to the provisions conform with the current realities and technological advancements. He said part of the benefits to be derived from the new provisions is that it makes business and commercial transactions easy.
Asibong, who is also the Company Secretary of Ibom Power Company Limited said if Governance practitioners do not understand the provisions of the new CAMA, they cannot take advantage of the benefits. He said that is the reason ICSAN Akwa Ibom chose the theme for the 2022 governance practitioners’ day.
Speaking further, he said a major change to the CAMA is the winding-up process of a company stating that ‘When a company is winding up, a receiver-manager is appointed to take over the affairs of the indebted company to recover the debt’.
‘’However, in the new legislation, it is not just about a creditor taking over the assets of the debtor to recover his funds, the creditor has to undertake to ensure that the company is run sustainably to prevent a situation where after the funds are recovered the company goes under and people lose their jobs’’, he said.
Asibong continued that when people lose their jobs, it deprives the government of taxes, and the people also become liabilities to the society. Therefore the new CAMA has made provisions to ensure that even when the creditor recovers his funds, the company continues on the path of sustainability to avoid negative consequences for the people involved, the government, and the society at large.
The event was also attended by the state’s Head of Civil Service, Essien Effiong, Labour and Man Power Planning Commissioner, Aniefiok Nkom, Executive Chairman of Akwa Ibom Investment Corporation, Dr. Elijah Akpan, Chairman of Ibom Power, Etido Inyang, an engineer, NBA Chairman, Uyo branch, Ememobong Udo, Group Manager Corporate Services, Ibom Air, Imelda O’Neil Fabs-Aba, among others.