President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2020 recently passed by the National Assembly.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says the new Act, which replaces the existing one passed in 1990, contained innovations geared towards enhancing the ease of doing business in the country.
The reforms include filing fee reductions to make it easier and cheaper for small and medium-sized enterprises to register and reform their businesses.
It also allows corporate promoters of companies to establish private companies with a single shareholder, and create limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships.
They allow for the Innovation of processes and procedures to ease the operations of companies, such as introducing Statements of Compliance; replacing authorised share capital with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies.
It further provides for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings, as well as remote general meetings for private companies in response to the disruptions to close contact physical meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other benefits are requiring the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency.
The rest are enhancing the minority shareholder protection and engagement; introducing enhanced business rescue reforms for insolvent companies; and permitting the merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives.