The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry through its Law and Justice trade group wishes to inform members of the signing into law of the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023.
This Act is designed to provide for the ease of doing business to ensure transparency efficiency and Productivity in Nigeria and for related matters.
President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR signed the Bill into Law on the 10th of February 2023, it is a legislative intervention by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) which codifies Executive Order 001 (E01), and amends 21 business related laws, to remove bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria.
The Amended Legislations are:
- Companies and Allied Matters Act
- Customs & Excise Management Act
- Export (Prohibition) Act
- Financial Reporting Council Act
- Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act
- Immigration Act
- Industrial Inspectorate Act
- Industrial Training Fund Act
- Investment and Securities Act
- National Housing Fund Act
- National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion Act
- National Planning Commission Act
- Nigerian Customs Service Board Act
- Nigerian Export Promotion Council Act
- Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act
- Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act
- Nigerian Ports Authority Act
- Patent and Designs Act
- Pension Reform Act
- Standard Organisation of Nigeria Act
- Trademarks Act
- Promotes good governance practices through Public Private Partnership (PPPs), and an enhanced regulatory environment for all.
- Provides harmonization of MDAs’ processes, key performance indicators and consequence management for erring public officials
- Effective tool for speedy amendment of business- related legislative framework.
- Provides incentives to encourage growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
- Promotes best global practices, adapted for best fit in Nigeria.
- Ensures efficiency and transparency in public service delivery with cost, time and procedures for doing business.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BFA 2023
Executive Order 001, the first executive order of this Administration, issued in 2017, has now been codified by the Act. The legal provisions include:
- Mandatory requirement for publication licenses, permits, waivers, approvals and other related information by ministries departments and agencies (MDAs).
- Publication of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) by MDAs on their websites and mandatory adherence to the stipulated timelines.
- Default approvals have been codified. Upon failure of an MDA to communicate the outcome of an application within the stipulated time, the application will be deemed approved.
- Creation of single interface customer at the ports and airports to ensure efficiency and eliminate corruption.
- Automation of business registration process at the corporate affairs commission.
Some key provisions/changes:
Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020
- Recognition of electronic share certificates and electronic voting at annual general meetings.
- Ease in the procedure for increase in share capital.
- Pre-emptive rights of shareholders- provision of a specific maximum timelines of 21 days within which offer of shares must be accepted by existing shareholders or deem declined.
- The Act reviews the minimum number of I dependent directors for public companies from three to one-third of the board.
Custom And excise Management Act LFN 2004
- Legislates the establishment of a single window platform for trade facilitation in Nigeria.
- Reduces the timeline for dispute resolution process in buyers appeal to the Nigerian Customs Services where not satisfied with the valuation of imported goods.
Nigerian Ports Authority ACT LFN 2004
- Provides for automation of port operations, recognition of single window and removal of unauthorized personnel from the ports.
Exports (Prohibition) Act LRF 2004
- The Minister of Finance now has the responsibility to recommend goods to be prohibited for exportation.
Immigration Act LFN 2004
- Provides legal basis for automation of the Nigeria Immigration Service.
- Stipulates a 48-hour time frame to obtain a visa on arrival and process other ordinary entry visas.
National Housing Fund Act 2011
- Expands the scope of the National Housing Funds to include private sector business owners and employees to enable MSMEs owner’s opt-in to gain access to mortgage finance to build homes.
Standard Organization of Nigeria Act 2015
- Reduces the time limit for notifying SON before instituting an action against it from 3 months to 30 days.
- Legal obligation for the Director General to make an ex parte application to the court for an order pertaining to actions taken by SON against detrimental or hazardous goods.