In line with its continued commitment to improving the business environment in Nigeria through legislative interventions, the Presidential Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has sponsored the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill otherwise known as the “omnibus bill”.
The bill which has been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for transmission to the National Assembly is expected to amend 23 business-related laws in Nigeria.
The president’s special adviser on the ease of doing business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, explained in a statement that the omnibus bill aims to amend specific laws relating to the ease of doing business, which will then be transformed into a unique legislation to act as a catalyst for the legislative process. Nigerian business climate reform.
According to her, the overall benefits of the bill include ensuring efficiency in the delivery of public services in terms of time, cost and procedure for doing business, improving transparency, removing outdated provisions of relevant laws and provision of incentives to encourage Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) participation in business.
While giving the highlights of the Bill, she said it included the codification of Presidential Executive Order 001 (001), which requires MDAs to publish licenses, permits, waivers, approvals and other related information , among other things, to improve transparency. and public access to information.
Others are: “the Companies and Related Matters (CAMA) Amendment 2020 with the recognition of electronic share certificates, electronic voting at annual general meetings and other information is in tandem with the technological best practices.
“The provisions of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) Act and CAMA have been reconciled to recognize the exemption of NEPZA-licensed free zone companies from company registration,” says the press release.
She pointed out that the bill also provides for ease in the procedure for increasing the share capital by providing for the possibility for these decisions to be determined by a resolution of the board of directors, subject to the provisions of the company’s articles of association. or by the company in general meeting.
He also proposed that the minimum number of independent directors for public companies be revised from three (3) to one third of the board.
“Furthermore, with the amendment of the Export (Prohibition) Act, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning will now have clear powers to recommend goods that should be restricted for export.
“This will encourage flexibility in terms of the products banned and the scope of the ban, allowing them to align with economic realities at all times,” he said.
Oduwole recalled that the PEBEC Secretariat began a review of Nigerian business laws in 2017, in collaboration with several public and private sector stakeholders.
“This includes the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMoJ), the Business Law Section of the Nigerian Bar Association (through the participation of over 40 law firms and consultancies), the Nigerian Summit Group Economic and National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER),” she added.
She said that the Secretariat in view of this invited submissions from various public sector stakeholders while in 2018 the Council set up a sub-committee chaired by the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (HAGF), Abubakar Malami SAN to review and draft the Omnibus Bill.
“The first version of the Omnibus Bill was produced by the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMoJ) and presented to PEBEC in 2019. Stakeholder engagements were then held with various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the raise awareness of the content of the first draft of the omnibus bill.
“In 2020, the PEBEC Secretariat invited public and private sector stakeholders to submit additional proposals to the Omnibus Bill.
“These submissions were reviewed by a technical committee set up by the PEBEC secretariat which included private and public stakeholders. The bill was then drafted and finalized by the Legal Drafting Department of the Federal Ministry of Justice in November 2021,” she added.