By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives, yesterday, passed through second reading, a bill that would ensure that private companies, whose total assets exceed N80 billion, convert to public liability companies, PLCs.
If finally passed, such companies would also be expected to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE.
The motion promoted by Rep Chris Emeka Azubogu, is entitled: ‘A bill for an act to provide for private companies whose shareholders’ funds exceed N40 billion or their annual turnover exceeds N80 billion or their total assets exceed N80 billion to convert to public liability companies and get their shares listed in the stock exchange, thereby promoting growth for both the companies and the Nigerian Capital Market and for other related matters.
He said: “If proper fundings are given to business owners or small companies in the country, it would help to build up strong business institutions that will reduce the rate of unemployment,” he said. He added that the bill seeks to regulate private companies.
In his contribution, Rep Fort Dike,PDP, Anambra, who spoke against the motion advised the sponsor to dump it.
“The bill did not take so many things into consideration. It is anti business to force individuals to go into the stock exchange. This bill should not be allowed to scale through because it will be in conflict with the general ideas of investment in the country. This bill will make the parliament look like it lacks business knowledge,” he said.
Rep Ossai Nicholas Ossai,PDP, Delta who rose to support the bill, noted that local businesses would begin to grow, if such companies are duly listed on NSE.
“It will empower Nigerians. It will enable Nigerians participate in the country’s economy. It is in line with international best practices. The bill should be passed so as to improve enterprise in the country,” he added.
Also speaking in support of the bill, Rep . Leo Ogor, PDP, Delta observed that it is the core responsibility of the lawmakers to regulate private companies.
“It is a bill that should be given the necessary support for the interest of the growth of the country’s economy,” Ogor submitted.
The Bill was thereafter passed into second reading by the Deputy Speaker Rep .Emeka Ihedioha and was committed to the Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions for further inputs.