President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2020, recently passed by the National Assembly.
The development was disclosed in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
The signing of the legislation has repealed and replaced the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990, introducing after 30 years, several corporate legal innovations geared toward enhancing ease of doing business in the country.
Such innovations include filing fee reductions and other reforms to make it easier and cheaper for small and medium-sized enterprises to register and reform their businesses in Nigeria.
The law will also allow corporate promoters of companies to establish private companies with a single member or shareholder, and create limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships to give investors and businessmen alternative forms of carrying out their business in an efficient and flexible way.
It will also introduce innovations in processes and procedures to ease the operations of companies, such as introducing Statements of Compliance and replacing “authorised share capital” with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies.
Also, it will enable electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies in response to the disruptions to close contact physical meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the same vein, it will require the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency.
It will equally enhance the minority shareholder protection and engagement; introducing enhanced business rescue reforms for insolvent companies; and permitting the merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives.