The Registrar General and CEO of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Mallam Garba Abubakar, has assured the council and management of the Institute of Directors (IOD) of the readiness of the commission to collaborate with it on the passage of the Institute’s Charter Bill now before the National Assembly.
Mallam Abubakar who gave the assurance when the leadership of the institute, led by the President and Chairman of the Council, Chief Chris Okunowo, visited his office in Abuja, said it was in the best interest of the country for the commission and the institute to work together as all efforts were being synergised to entrench corporate governance in the public and private sectors.
The registrar general, while reacting to some of the issues presented by the IOD president for consideration by the commission, spoke elaborately on sundry initiatives being undertaken to enhance corporate governance in the country, particularly on the amended Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
Specifically, he disclosed that after the initial setback on the effort to get the amended CAMA signed into law by the president, the commission had started collaborating with key stakeholders, particularly the National Assembly, in the process of getting the represented Executive CAMA Bill now before the legislature signed into law before the end of the first quarter of 2020.
He said: “We are working with the National Assembly for accelerated consideration of the bill because a lot of initiatives are tied to the passage of the bill. Not just a lot of initiatives, we have some international commitments that the Nigerian government has made, particularly on the issue of money laundering and terrorism financing, most particularly on the beneficial ownership disclosure.
“Under the extractive industry transparency initiative, Nigeria is required to deploy a Register of Beneficial Ownership, and that is expected to be done before the end of the first quarter this year. NEITI has to go ahead to introduce something, and without the legal framework, this will not be possible. So, they will need that legal framework to support that initiative.
“Only yesterday, we were with the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to prevail on them to have an expedited consideration of the bill, and they are working on it.”
Earlier in his remarks, the President and Chairman of Council of the IOD, Chief Chris Okunowo, solicited the support of the CAC management in the institute’s effort to get the bill that would confer chartered status on it passed by the National Assembly.
He recalled that: “The quest for a charter status for IOD Nigeria reached its crescendo when the bill was passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives and forwarded to the president for assent.
“Unfortunately, Mr. President declined assent to the bill, essentially because of objections from this august body, the Corporate Affairs Commission, to some aspects of the bill. We have studied the basis for the objection from the CAC and realised that it is due to some misunderstanding of certain provisions of the IOD Charter Bill. We, therefore, seek to engage with the CAC; to seek your full understanding of our bill.
“We intend to continue the pursuit of the charter bill with all the relevant authorities, and we need all the support we can get from our friends, chief among who is the Corporate Affairs Commission. We will, therefore, appreciate all the support we can get in this our renewed vigour to get a charter status for the institute.”
He restated the institute’s commitment to promoting corporate governance at all levels of administration in the country through training and other capacity building initiatives in view of the far-reaching benefits to organisations and the country.