Nigerian Senate moves to improve ease of doing business

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

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The Nigerian Senate has begun the process of reviewing some critical laws aimed at improving the ease of doing business in the country, as part of the ongoing efforts to revive Nigeria’s economy.

As a result of this, the senate Committee on Trade and Investment on Wednesday held a one-day public hearing on the bills to amend the companies and allied matters act (CAMA), to provide for the incorporation of companies, registration of business names together with incorporation of trustees of certain companies, and another one for the establishment of state corporate affairs commissions for registration of business names and other matter.

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, while declaring open the session, said “even if it means repealing all that we have been used to and starting on a new note, we must not shy away from doing what is best in the interest of our economy.”

Senator Saraki maintained that CAMA has a role to play in trade and investment, especially in the efforts of the present administration at diversifying the economy.

“An amendment being sought from the first bill today is to provide a more conducive environment for the conduct of business in Nigeria. The bill will strengthen the functions of the board, propose a holistic amendment on fines and penalties in accordance with the current value of the Naira and vest powers on the Nigerian President to exempt foreign companies from certain provisions to attract investment,” he explained.

Earlier, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, Senator Sabo Mohammed said the committee was poised to “address every defect” in the Act or any other within its mandate to ensure ease of doing business and stir up enabling environment for local and foreign investors in the country.

This, he noted would help the nation’s economy “to advance from the present vulnerable oil dependent economy, made volatile by the intermittent price fluctuation, to a remedial diversified economy”.

Senator Mohammed maintained that Nigeria must at this critical time, expand its economy beyond dependency on oil which demands urgent reforms in our economic policies and laws in line with the international best practices.”

Nnenna.O