For the first time on Thursday, President Muhmmadu Buhari spoke on the controversial Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA), saying it was enacted to make the anti-corruption campaign of his administration stronger.
He also explained that the law came into being because of the need to enhance transparency and corporate accountability.
The President made the clarification in a video message to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) 2020 Virtual Leaders’ Summit on the sidelines of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA75) in New York, United States yesterday.
There had been outcries, especially from some religious and non-governmental groups, over some provisions of the Act.
However, Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, highlighted the administration’s journey in anti-corruption fight, pointing out that the birth of CAMA was one of the milestones in the crusade.
He said: ‘’Since the inception of our administration in 2015, the government has been committed to changing international and domestic perceptions regarding Nigeria’s commitment to fight corruption and foster good governance.
‘’We focused on the task of dealing head-on with this destructive monster, which led to us joining the Open Government Partnership and making reform commitments such as to establish a public central register of beneficial owners of corporate entities.
‘’Since then, we have made significant progress in implementing tougher anti-corruption measures, including my recent assent to the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020.
‘’The Act provides a legal framework for the implementation of Beneficial Ownership Information Disclosure in Nigeria.
‘’Being an OGP member-country has helped Nigeria learn from other countries tackling similar challenges, and to build a coalition to support these reforms across the private sector and civil society. It has also aided our journey towards building citizens’ trust in government.’’
Buhari told the summit that with the rising COVID-19 deaths, has made it clear that governments alone cannot solve all the challenges the virus has brought alone.
He stressed that it is only through open governance and the support of citizens that nations can succeed.