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The importance of an effective regulatory body in a growing economy cannot be overemphasized. Hence the need for the Corporate Affairs Commission to function as such is a sine-qua-non to the provision of good legal principles that must be adhered to and effectively enforced in corporate governance. This research work, therefore covers the historical development of the Company and Allied Matter Act, its roles/functions and how it enforces the provisions of the Act. It also proffers suggestions to some challenges been faced by the Corporate Affairs Commission and re-commendations that would make them more potent as a regulatory authority.
The Corporate Affairs Commission hereinafter referred to as “the
Commission” or CAC for short, is one of the major regulatory bodies of companies in
Nigeria. The body is a creation that came into being by virtue of the Companies and
Allied Matters Act (hereinafter referred to as CAMA) Cap 50, Laws of the
Federation of Nigeria, now Cap C20 of the Laws of the Federation, 2004.
Principally, the Commission is one of the innovations of CAMA that gives the
Commission the responsibility of incorporation of companies, registration of Business
Names, Incorporation of Trustee of certain committees, bodies, associations and other
regulations. CAMA also introduced Corporate audit Committee, insider trading,
codified the duties of directors, the fundamental principles emanated in the rules of
Fossal Foss V Harbottle, the rule in Royal British Bank V Turguard.
Before the advent of CAC, the Companies Act of 1968 was the Act that
regulated the activities of companies in Nigeria. The present CAMA was borne out of
draft documents prepared by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission in an effort to
reform and improve on the Companies Act of 1968, which could no longer address
the various challenges associated with the regulation and supervision of Companies in
In the pre-oil boom era of the Nigerian Economy (1970-1979), the then
company legislation was severally criticized. “…One of the major criticism of the Act
is that, it is little more than the putting together of some Sections of the repealed
Companies Act Cap 37 and some Sections of the U.K Companies Act 1948, instead of
taking the bold step of codifying both the statutory and case law on companies…”1
The preparation of such a code would have provided the opportunity for reviewing
and modifying some of the more inconvenient common law rules.
In its Report on the reform of Nigeria Company Law 1988, the Nigerian Law
Reform Commission commentary on the above inadequacy and some others
observed that “with paucity of Nigerian cases on Company Law and the present heavy
cost of obtaining English Law reports and textbooks, that difficulty in finding the law
in this country can be well imagined…”2
As a result of these numerous problems in our company laws as hitherto
mentioned, the Nigerian Law Reform Commission was set up among other reasons
“to evolve a comprehensive body of Legal Principles and Rules governing Companies
and suitable for the circumstances of the country. These rules was to facilitate
business activities in the country and protect the interest of the investors, the public
and of the nation as a whole”3
After extensive consideration and submissions of papers by various
stakeholders, the Commission came out with a draft copy which was forwarded to the
then Attorney General of the Federation and Ministry of Justice, who set up a
Consultative Assembly wh
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