The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has said that it will regulate e-signature and e-meeting promoted by the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 to checkmate cyber fraud.
An Assistant Director of CAC, Mr Tolulope Sonaike disclosed at the 10th webinar series themed “Discourse on CAMA Act 2020 and its Implications for Businesses” organised by DCSL Corporate Services Limited.
The CAMA Bill 2020, signed by President Mohammadu Buhari on Aug. 7, makes it compulsory for the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency, as against the former situations where promoters were unknown.
According to Sonaike, the commission was aware of the insecurities in the cyber space and is working on regulations around e-signature and e-registration which required information exchange electronically.
“This process took us about five to six years to get to this point and we do not have to wait another 30 years to do a review.
“We could take every three years to review. We are engaging stakeholders in a few weeks because we need to obtain some clarifications across all public companies.
“A pitfall is that the issue around e-signature is forensics. We are not unaware of cyber security but regulations will follow shortly,” he said.
Sonaike noted that as in the practice in drafting articles, a transition period is allowed and as such, penalties would not be immediate.
Mr Shofola Osho, Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) said that businesses should not rush to make changes in their operations.
Osho advised that businesses should prioritise and carry out gap analysis on the requirements of the CAMA Act 2020 by engaging the managements and the boards.
He urged the CAC not to begin penalising companies who failed to comply with the regulations but give more time for adjustments.
Mrs Tosin Ajose, Lead Adviser, Deal HQ Partners, advised companies not to hastily make adjustments
Ajose urged companies to study and understand the amended Act: “For the mandatory ones, act on them and wait for the gazetted copy of the Act before making changes.”
She also commended the Section 427 of the Act, made for the benefits of keeping shareholders happy.
“The role and right of first offer to exiting shareholders comes to play. If you want to exit, do not force an external shareholder.
“It is good in terms of governance practice, it is secure minority shareholders and for the greater good of the company,” she said.
The webinar was moderated by Ms Ayotola Jagun, Chief Compliance Officer and Company Secretary, Oando Plc.
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