Senate yesterday passed through Second Reading a bill to repeal a 26-year-old Act on bankruptcy and insolvency. The Bill, which is sponsored by Senator Barnabas Gemade, is entitled: A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, No. 16 of 1979 CAP B2 Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Re-Enact the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to make Provision for Corporate and Individual Insolvency; and for other matters connected therewith. Leading debate on the Bill, Gemade stated that the proposed legislation was designed to bring about the best laws of managing bankruptcy.
Gemade added that the Bill does not require any form of financial backing to promote its success. Lending his support to the debate, the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, noted that the Bill is a proof that the current National Assembly is determined to make good laws for the benefit of the nation. “There is no need of chunking out new laws, while we have many old laws that need to be amended because they have become very old,” he added. In his contribution, Senator Donald Alasoadura, who spoke against the Bill, argued that the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) has already covered the provisions made by the new bill.
On that ground, Alasoadura noted that there would be a collision of laws on the same issues, if the Bill is passed into law. But speaking in support of the Bill, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, however, observed that the CAMA did not cover the provisions, which the Bill has made as was earlier pointed out by Alasoadura. Akpan further argued that there is no way that an Act that was created in 1979 would still be in tandem with the present time.
Also speaking in support, the Majority Whip, Senator Sola Adeyeye, noted that one does not need a seer to be informed that a decree that is more than 20 years old needs to be reversed. Adeyeye, who observed that banks are currently having some difficulties as a result of the old bill, however, called for the relevant committees of the Senate, when constituted, to sit down and critically look into the Bill with the view of correcting a few things on the Bill.
Other senators, who spoke in support of the Bill, also observed that the old bill has too many shortcomings. As a result, they argued that the old bill does not have the capacity to protect the poor man and his business. In his remark, the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, observed that the Bill was well presented. He further noted that the Bill was in line with the promise of the 8th Senate to encourage investments into the country.
– Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja