The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), has anticipated growth in the nation’s Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, following the amendment of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA 2020.
According to the institute, the amended CAMA which now enables Public limited companies (PLCs) to conduct Annual General Meeting (AGM) electronically comes with a horde of benefits.
President of the Institute, Mr. Taiwo Owokalade in a statement said that the new CAMA was a manifestation of what the institute had always advocated for.
He explained that the newly signed Business Facilitation Act 2023, which amended CAMA 2020, has now paved the way for PLCs in Nigeria to hold AGM without having to specifically seek the permission of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). He expressed that the move was a positive development for the Nigeria’s business regime.
He said, “Under Section 240 (2) of CAMA 2020, only private companies are allowed to hold their AGMs by electronic means. PLCs could only be permitted to hold AGMs if specifically permitted by the CAC. This in itself was an improvement to what obtains under the old CAMA1990 which only recognized physical meetings. But we had recommended that whenever an opportunity for amendment of CAMA 2020 comes, the permission to hold AGM electronically should be extended to PLCs.
“This is exactly what has been done now by Section 11 of the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023 was signed into law on 13 February 2023, which now allows PLCs to hold AGM as long as it allows all the shareholders to participate and it is following the provisions of the articles of association.
“ICSAN, as a leading voice on corporate governance, finds this initiative a very positive development. The advantages of this include inclusiveness through enhanced shareholders’ participation and engagement, and reduction of costs through the elimination of the need for big and expansive physical venues.
“Furthermore, virtual meetings break the barriers of national and international boundaries as shareholders from any part of the world can participate in the AGM. Another advantage is that virtual meetings allow easy recording of proceedings for future reference.
Owokalade also averred that the move will attract foreign investors who will be motivated by the fact that they will be able to monitor proceedings of the meetings of the companies they invest in.
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