Despite misgivings on CAMA law, CAC talks tough, says compliance not negotiable
Despite the controversy that has continued to trail the new Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) recently into law, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is talking tough that compliance cannot be negotiated.
The Commission insisted that it would go ahead with the implementation of the law as soon as the National Assembly properly gazettes it.
The CAMA bill, which was recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, has continued to receive immense criticisms mostly from the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
The leadership of CAN had rejected out rightly the CAMA law describing it as satanic, controversial and ungodly.
The christian body said the most offensive aspect is section 839 (1) &(2) that empowers the Commission to suspend trustees of an association (in this case, the church) and appoint the interim managers to manage the affairs of the association for some given reasons
“The law, to say the least is unacceptable, ungodly, reprehensible and an ill-wind that blows no one any good. It is a time bomb waiting to explode.”
CAN had observed that the Church cannot be controlled by the government because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations.
“This is why we are calling on the Federal government to stop the implementation of the obnoxious and ungodly law until the religious institutions are exempted from it.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently return the law to the National Assembly for immediate amendment.
“Nigeria should not be compared with any other nation when it comes to the relationship between the religious institutions and the government as in Nigeria, people’s religions are tied to their humanity and of course, their life.
They asked rhetorically how the government can sack the trustees of a church which it contributed no dime to establish?
“How can a secular and political minister be the final authority on the affairs and management of another institution which is not political?
“For example, how can a non-Christian head of Government Ministry be the one to determine the running of the church?
“It is an invitation to trouble that the government does not have power to manage. Let the government face the business of providing infrastructure for the people. Let them focus on better health provision, food, education, adequate security employment, etc.
Other critics argued that the new law would negatively impact on their organisations, pointing out they do not receive funding from the Federal Government.
However, in his message to the Commerce Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) retreat held yesterday in Abuja, the CAC Registrar-General, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, said that time has come for all registered organisations with the Commission to ensure they manage their association properly in line with extant laws.
His words: “They must henceforth subject their finances and expenditures for proper auditing, and copies sent to us at the CAC
The new legal framework applies to all organisations registered with us be it a religious organisation, NGO or CSO.
“Remember that they also have constitutions guiding them. The criteria to be a trustee of registered organisations are clearly spelt out in the laws establishing them. The laws provide for minimum standards; the constitution also spelt this out. It similarly spelt out how they are supposed to be run. The law says once you submit yourself by accepting to register with the CAC, you are bound to obey all its laws as well.”
Abubakar asked: “How is it that a registered member who qualifies to be a trustee in an organisation would not want government to know how the organisation is run? What are the responsibilities of the trustees? What are the responsibilities of the governing council or the board? How do you manage the affairs of the organisation? How do you use or expend the income and properties of the organisation? How do you appoint members of the governing board? These are the issues the new CAMA has come to address.”
He said any organisation that does not want to be de-registered must submit itself to proper auditing and their statements sent to government, stressing that failure do so would spell doom for such organisation.
According to him, the new CAMA law would not only bring sanity to the running of organisations but also ensure their smooth running.