Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) under the auspices of the Action Group on Free Civic Space have demanded an urgent review of the newly-introduced legal provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020.
The Action Group on Free Civic Space represents a loose network of over 85 organizations, among others.
In a statement by Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri of Spaces for Change and 31 others, they observed that CAMA 2020 establishes a new form of eminent domain as the recently-added provisions appear to be fixated on enlarging governmental powers to suspend and remove the trustees of an association thereby taking over its administration.
The group observed that a number of the new CAMA provisions are punitive in nature and confer excessive powers on the government to overly restrict or interfere with Non-Profit Organizations’ (NPO) operations.
“The Commission’s powers to unilaterally disrupt and displace the expressed intentions and aspirations of the members relegate the constitution or memorandum of an association, rendering it nugatory.”
They noted that Compliance with the new rules will be difficult, time-consuming and possibly ineffective.
“The recent revisions to CAMA are particularly reminiscent of the prescriptions of the rested 2016 NGO Bill sponsored by Umar Buba Jibril, which aimed to interfere with NGO assets,” the group noted.