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‘CAMA not targeted at religious groups’

The Amended Companies And Allied Matters (CAMA) Act 2020 isn’t targeted at religious bodies or groups, Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Mallam Garba Abubakar, yesterday re-affirmed as controversy trailing new business legislation deepened. The new Company and Allied Bill became an Act recently with the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari sealed on it. His statement had stirred controversies from the Chris-tian Association of Nigeria (CAN), which described an aspect of the law that deals with board of trustees as offensive to Christianity faith.

The CAN on Thursday, rejected CAMA 2020, describing it as ungodly and a time bomb waiting to explode. The body said it rejected the idea of bringing the church under the control of the government. Speaking yesterday, at a retreat organised in Abuja by Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) with the theme: ‘COVID-19 pandemic and new reforms initiatives by CAC’, Abubakar said the law was not targeted at any religious association. He said the legal framework applies to all organisations registered as Incorporated Trustee whether religious or social clubs. The CAC Registrar noted that the law provided the minimum standards on how these organisations should be governed, adding that once an association submits itself for regulatory oversight through registration, then it cannot now be asking for exemption. Abubakar said the law on the provision of suspension of Trustees has stated the grounds upon which the government can intervene in their affairs.

He noted that based on the new law, before someone can be suspended, he must be heard while recommendations made by the CAC board and the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment for approvals. He said: “If you submit yourself for Regulatory oversight, you must obey the law. If you don’t want to obey the law, then don’t register. CAMA is not targeted at any particular group. “We are talking about making our laws to be of global standards. We look at those provisions in other jurisdictions that will strengthen our legal framework.“The difference between Association and Companies is that whatever assets that the Association owns should be used to take care of the objectives of the Association and not to be shared by the Trustees. “Suspensions of Trustees are not targeted at any particular group. What we have done is to bring our laws to be consistent with other countries. We borrowed some of these from the Charities Act of UK..” He also said the new law now mandated the association to submit annual accounts to the CAC.

 

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