Stakeholders at a virtual town hall meeting on Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA 2020) have advocated the review of the law for the growth and development of the country.
The town hall meeting hosted by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) themed “CAMA 2020: Regulation or Repression” with various stakeholders; advocates and government officials from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) analyzing and clarifying the regulations of CAMA 2020 on civil societies in Nigeria.
A former Director-General, National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu who is one the lead facilitator at the town hall meeting pointed that provision of the CAMA law negated certain segments of the constitution and called on the government to review law.
He stressed that as it was presently constructed it was opened to abuse and political manipulations.
Similarly, a Human Rights Activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) noted that the CAMA law had taken over the roles of certain institutions which is in conflicts with the constitution. CAC should be taken into consideration, whereby the commission was not allowed to embark on any registration without constitutional backing; this according to him would help in the eventuality of any crisis.
Country Director, Amnesty International Ms. Osai Ojigbo observed that Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) have always been regulated in Nigeria and as such there was a dire need for a clarification of CAMA 2020.
A stakeholder at the meeting and, representative of the European Union in Nigeria, Mr John Onyeukwu said, while the country is adopting regulatory policies, the Civic Space must be protected, giving citizens a conducive atmosphere to engage the government in an orderly manner to reflect the spirit of democracy.
The Register-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission CAC, Alhaji Garba Abubakar represented by the Director Board Secretary, Mr. Justine Nidiya, said the purpose of the law was to improve corporate responsibility, urging Nigerians to allow the law to be experimented.
Mr Garba however said there exist possibilities for the review of the law but could not established if that could be possible before it could be gazetted
The virtual town hall meeting which sought to facilitate a better understanding of CAMA 2020 in relation to the operations of Civil Society Organisations, Non-governmental Organisations and the effects of the law on civic space in Nigerian attracted over 150 participants with presentations from civil society organisations and Human Rights Activists.