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FG urged to harmonise CAMA with other laws

…as PwC holds capability enhancement workshop for journalists

The Federal Government has been called upon to harmonise Companies and Allied Companies Act (CAMA) 2020 with other laws such as the Companies Income Tax Act which still requires audited accounts by all companies regardless of size.

Taiwo Oyedele, Fiscal policy Partner and West Africa Tax Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), made the call in his presentation at a capability enhancement workshop for journalists in Lagos, organised by the company.

Speaking on ‘CAMA 2020, Nigeria’s competitiveness and ease of doing business’, Oyedele advised that more flexibility is required for foreign companies who wish to operate business in Nigeria such that a branch registration should be permitted while incorporating a subsidiary will be optional.

According to him, “It is also necessary to ensure that the new law is kept under constant review with more frequent amendments or re-enactment, say, every five years.”

Oyedele, who provided an overview of the new law which he noted is the most important business regulation in Nigeria especially as it has significant impact on doing business, competitiveness, attracting investments, and economic growth, lamented that many people have only focused on certain aspect of the Act while ignoring the huge benefits it has to offer.

He stated the need to Gazette the law with a future commencement date to facilitate ease of transition, while emphasising the importance of effective implementation.

Andrew S. Nevin, partner and chief economist, PwC Nigeria, who spoke on ‘Economic sustainability: Tracking and reporting the metrics that matter’, observed with examples, the problem of merely regurgitating data and statistics without providing sufficient context or insights, which readers often find to be of little use.

He pointed participants to track key metrics such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other policy pronouncements of governments which they can use to benchmark their analysis with the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) statistics and enrich their general reporting on the economy.

Tokunbo Afikuyomi, editor-in-chief at Stears Business, who facilitated a session on ‘Journalism and the new normal: challenges and opportunities’, shared the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on news consumption patterns and what this means for the fortunes of journalists and their media houses.

Afikuyomi noted that in times of uncertainty, trustworthy reporting becomes even more important than the speed to break the news. He noted that with the shift to digital platforms by consumers, reporters must balance the rush to be the first to publish with providing factual information written from a unique angle that adds value to the readers.

He also emphasised the need for clarity of thoughts and clarity of expression for excellent reporting.

Capability Enhancement Workshop for journalists is an annual event hosted by PwC Nigeria, a leading professional services firm.

The half-day workshop, which held virtually in line with Covid-19 protocols around large gatherings, had participants from traditional broadcast, print and new media platforms.

The annual workshop, which is now in its seventh year, is a key component of PwC’s Corporate Responsibility strategy. It was instituted in recognition of the very important role of the media in society and in particular, the role that the media in Nigeria has and continues to play in informing and educating the public.

Explaining the raison d’être of the event, Oyedele said: “Our support for the media through this workshop and the media excellence award is in line with our purpose which is to build trust in society and solve important problems. It is a demonstration of our strong belief that for the Nigerian people to enjoy good governance, the media must perform its role optimally and professionally and this is reflected in the quality of reporting, in the capacity of individual journalists to carry out research and investigations, in the independence of editorial judgments, and in their ability to use technology as an enabler. As a firm, we have been supporting various stakeholders in their responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and this is one of such interventions.”

The capacity enhancement workshop precedes the award gala-nite for the announcement of winners of this year’s PwC Media Excellence Awards, scheduled to hold virtually on Friday 2, October 2020.

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