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How new CAMA 2020 will enhance SMEs’ ease of doing business

President Buhari recently assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2020.

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Companies Allied Matters Act (CAMA)

The new Companies Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 is expected to enhance the ease of doing business in Nigeria. The new document has repealed and replaced the extant CAMA 1990 with key amendments that would remove some bottlenecks from the old act.

The revised Act will make Nigeria’s business environment as competitive as its counterparts around the world.

Back story: Nairametrics had reported when President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2020, which was recently passed by the National Assembly.

READ ALSO: Corporate organisations now pay N200,000 for unsolicited premises inspection in Abuja 

He explained that some innovative processes and procedures were included in the new document to ease the operations of companies. Some of them are the introduction of Statements of Compliance, which replaced “authorised share capital” with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies; and providing for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies.

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READ ALSO: Prestige Assurance could be a good opportunity if it gets its recapitalization right

Provisions that aid ease of doing business:

* Provision of single-member/shareholder companies- Section 18 (2) of the new CAMA now makes it possible to establish a private company with only one member or shareholders.

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* Restriction on multiple directorship in public companies- S.307(1) of the Act frowns at a person from being a director in more than five (5) public companies at a time.

* Appointment of Company Secretary now optional- Going forward, the appointment of company secretary for private company is optional. According to Section 330 (1) of the new CAMA, the appointment is only mandatory for public companies.

* A Director can’t hold the office of a Chairman, CEO – According to Section 265 (6), private firms are now restricted from appointing a director to hold the office of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

* Procurement of Common seal not mandatory – Contrary to the previous document that insisted that every company must procure a Common Seal, CAMA 2020, according to Section 98, states that most jurisdictions around the world have expunged the requirement from their laws.

* Concept of Limited Liability Partnership and Limited Partnership – The new act combines the organisational flexibility and tax status of a partnership with the limited liability of members of a company.

* Virtual AGMs – New act made provision for virtual annual general meetings (AGM), provided that such meetings are conducted in accordance with the Articles of Association of the company. This is expected to facilitate participation from any location at minimal costs.

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* SMEs exempted from appointing auditors – Small companies or any company with a single shareholder are no longer mandated to appoint auditors at the AGM to audit their financial records.

Why it matters:
Nigeria is largely dominated by Medium and Small-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs). Making registration easier for them brings in more businesses into the formal space. This also enhances tax revenue for the government.

The Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) was promulgated in 1990 to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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MSME

How to register for FG’s N75 billion MSME survival funds

FG released guidelines to access the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund.

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MSME, How to register for FG's N75 billion MSME survival funds, Small Businesses in Nigeria

The Federal Government (FG) has released the guidelines to access the N75 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund and Support Initiatives, which took effect from September 21, 2020.

The scheme, which is the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan includes the N60 billion MSMEs Survival Fund and the N15 billion Guaranteed Offtake Schemes.

This disclosure was made in an official statement by the Federal Government through a series of tweet posts on its official Twitter handle.

READ: FG to provide financial support for 1.7 million businesses, individuals in next 3 months

The statement from FG read, “As the portal for the registration of prospective beneficiaries of Survival Fund opens, interested Nigerians in the Payroll Support Scheme are to note that the site will be open from 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020.”

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The statement says that the registration for the payroll support will start with the educational institutions at 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020, and will be followed by businesses in the hospitality industry by 12am Friday, September 25, 2020.

The portal will also open for other categories of small businesses from 12am, Monday, September 28, 2020. It should be noted that the scheduling of the registration for prospective beneficiaries is to ensure that the process is seamless and hitch-free. The registration of every sector is to continue until Thursday, October 15, 2020.

READ: FG to save N1 trillion annually from petrol subsidy removal

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To register for this initiative, the Federal Government has also provided a portal for entry. Potential beneficiaries are advised to log on to https://survivalfund.ng to complete their registration.

As part of the registration process, the beneficiaries are expected to provide personal registration details, activate their account, register their organization after they have successfully activated their account.

Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Number, Bank Verification Number (BVN), SMEDAN Number, a Tax ID (optional) and the organization’s bank account details will be needed.

Completing the Payroll Support Registration, beneficiaries’ first name, last name, email, mobile number and Password will be required. Also, their Date of Birth, residential address and residential Local Government Area will also be provided.

READ: FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans

These 2 MSMEs initiatives namely MSMEs Survival Fund with payroll support track and the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme were introduced by the FG as part of the efforts to support businesses overcome challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a conditional grant to support vulnerable micro and small enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the MSMEs sector. The scheme is expected to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country and specifically impact on over 35,000 individuals per state.

READ: Nigeria’s external reserves up by 7% in 21 days, currency speculators to lose over N10 billion 

The scheme will be implemented over an initial period of 3 months and is targeted at employees of MSMEs and self-employed individuals with 45% for female business participation and 5% for special needs participation

The Guaranteed Off Take Stimulus Scheme is expected to perfect and sustain the income of vulnerable micro and small enterprises from the economic disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic through the implementation of various initiatives aimed at boosting the production capacities of small businesses as well as the provision of grants.

The duration is also for an initial period of 3 months and is targeted at micro and small businesses registered in Nigeria.

 

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MSME

FG to provide financial support for 1.7 million businesses, individuals in next 3 months

FG had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.

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FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans

The Federal Government has announced plans to provide financial support for 1.7 million businesses and individuals across the country within the next 3 months.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of State for industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, at the virtual commissioning of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) tagged, Eko Fashion Hub, in Lagos.

Katagum disclosed that the initiative is borne out of the Federal Government’s continued commitment to helping cushion the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy by saving existing jobs and creating new job opportunities.

READ: FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans

The minister said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, through the Economic Sustainability Committee, had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.

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She said, “The Federal Government is fully committed to empowering Nigerians; more so in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In this regard, the government, through the Economic Sustainability Committee had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.

“These programmes include among others, the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes of which I have the honour to chair the Steering Committee for the effective implementation of the projects.

READ: NNPC reveals survival strategies to cope with the oil sector downturn and new normal

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“The project, which will run for an initial period of three months, is targeting 1.7million entities and individuals and has provisions for 45 per cent female-owned businesses and five per cent for those with special needs. The registration portal for the schemes is set to open on Monday 21st September 2020 and I urge you all to take full advantage of the schemes.’

The Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan which was produced by a committee headed by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, is a response to the health and economic challenges which foisted on the country by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

READ: FG to save N1 trillion annually from petrol subsidy removal

Aside from developing robust monetary policies and fiscal measures to enhance oil and non-oil government revenues and reduce non-essential spending, the plan also includes a N2.3 trillion stimulus package for the economy.

Katagum said that the schemes were at the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package being implemented by the Federal Government. She said that the commissioning of shared facilities was also expected to provide succour and relief to the teeming micro-businesses in need of space and infrastructural support

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MSME

NSE, IFC promote participation of women-owned and run SMEs under the Nigeria2Equal programme

The NSE and IFC hosted the webinar to review support for women-owned businesses.

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CEO NSE, NSE lifts suspension on Omatek Ventures’ shares, NSE launches Comic Book to boost financial literacy, NSE goes public with 2.5 billion ordinary shares in unanimous vote by the members, NSE commemorates 2020 International Women’s Day and rings the bell for gender equality, COVID-19: NSE extends time for submission of financial statements, NSE PUBLISHES GUIDANCE TO FACILITATE EFFECTIVE VIRTUAL MEETINGS FOR STAKEHOLDERS AMIDST COVID-19, NSE Hosts First-Ever Digital Closing Gong Ceremony

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt economic activities all over the world, the informal sector (specifically small and medium enterprises, SMEs), have been at the centre of the crisis.

In view of the strong representation of female entrepreneurs within the SMEs space, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) hosted a webinar in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation to address the theme, Supporting SMEs and Women-Owned Businesses in Corporate Value Chains.

Speaking at the webinar, the Divisional Head, Shared Services, NSE, Bola Adeeko noted, “Entrepreneurs in Nigeria face significant challenges in accessing finance to sustain or expand their businesses. With the high level of female participation in entrepreneurship (OECD in 2019 puts female participation at 58% compared to male’s 45% male), experts anticipate that the COVID-19 crisis will hinder the progress made in advancing women’s entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

“To this end, we are pleased to have brought together an expert panel of discussants who have made an indisputable business case for gender-inclusive practices in corporate value chains and highlighted strategies for improving the participation of women owned and run SMEs.”

Looking at the current SMEs landscape, the Executive Director, Fate Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi indicated that, “When we look at the micro segment, we see that the number of women-owned businesses is equal to men-owned businesses.

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“However, as we move on to the SMEs segment, we see a drop in female participation to less than 25% which suggests that women are either dropping off or not growing as quickly as their male counterparts.”

In identifying some of the constraints female entrepreneurs face, Nigeria Country Director, WeConnect International, Yeshua Russel said, “While it is imperative that concerted efforts are made to link women to the value chains of large corporations in order to empower them, there are barriers that must be addressed which include inadequate technical capacity; low level of collaboration among women-owned businesses; and lack of access to finance.

“Consequently, we need to create more structures and systems that can educate and incorporate women to raise their level and quality of participation.”

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The Director, Corporate Affairs and Sustainable Business, Ghana and Nigeria, Unilever, Soromidayo George further expounded on this saying, “From our experience with Ebola and other epidemics, the economic impacts of a health crisis will have a disproportionate impact on women which will widen the gender inequality gap.

“This is particularly attributable to the harmful social norms that limit the expectations of what women can and should do especially along familial and business spectrums. We must, therefore, articulate organised ways to tackle these expectations and lay the right building blocks to achieve gender equality.”

All the panelists during the session agreed on the fundamental needs of businesses, particularly women-owned businesses as articulated by Executive Director, Business Banking, Access Bank, Ayodele Olojede.

She noted that, “In building and nurturing women-owned businesses, it is important to adopt a holistic approach that focuses on the four fundamentals of finance, information, market and technology.”

Taking this a step further, the Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Lagos Business School. Peter Bankole emphasized, “Capacity building must go beyond training in the development of women-owned businesses. Women are fast and adaptive learners but must also be given the support of mentoring and hand-holding to reach their highest potential.”

In closing out the event, the Head, Corporate Communications, NSE, Olumide Orojimi emphasised the need to continue the conversation beyond the webinar.

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He said, “Bridging the gender inequality gap is a journey and it is one we must all contribute to actively. We at the NSE are proud of our efforts at advancing female participation within our operations and our ecosystem and our collaboration with IFC is one of the efforts we are truly proud of.”

It would be recalled that The Nigeria2Equal initiative was kicked-off in May with a webinar that explored the gender implications of COVID-19 for women as employees.

The conversations that ensued during that webinar highlighted the differential socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on men and women, with women predicted to face more negative impacts.

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