Stakeholders including Religious groups, FIDA, Non-profit organization and Media on Wednesday held a crucial meeting in CCIDESOR Owerri Imo State calling on the National Assembly to urgently review the amended Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020.
The CSOs, which met under the auspices of Action Group on Free Civic Space (AGFCP) insisted that their review of the amended law revealed sections with negative implications and grave consequences noting that if such areas were allowed to operate without review.
They appreciated the positive sides of the same coin in holding citizens accountable and responsible in carrying out services to humanitarian work but still contended that the amended Act was designed to impede on real civil space and discourage the collective voices of associations to give the government excessive powers to operate without the watchdog roles of the NGOs
The Executive Director, Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) Ms.Ogechi Ikeh said sections 838, 839, 842 of CAMA 2020 contradicted the constitutionally protected freedoms particularly the freedom of association.
She maintained that the new provisions in the Act were punitive as they conferred full oversight to government on the activities of the NPOs
Ms Ogechi said, “CAMA 2020 establishes a new form of eminent domain. The recently-added provisions appear to be fixated on enlarging governmental powers to suspend and remove the trustees of an association’s property and bank credit.
“The Corporate Affairs Commission’s (CAC) powers to unilaterally disrupt and displace the expressed intentions and aspirations of the members relegated the constitution or memorandum of an association, rendering it purgatory.
“The new functions of the CAC duplicate the roles of existing regulatory agencies charged with uncovering and punishing financial crimes such as the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) and the Economic Financial Commission (EFCC)” . Hence the need to sensitize all citizens and to collectively demand a review and amendment from the government.