Publications

Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers (“M&A”) are usually triggered by economic factors such as the need to maximise economies of scale and/ or comply with statutorily fixed capital requirements for certain regulated specialised businesses. In recent times, Nigeria has experienced a significant number of M & A deals in the power, banking and industrial sectors of the Nigerian economy. These transactions continue to test the regulatory environment thereby prompting a need to further strengthen applicable laws to meet with the modern day realities.

Recent studies evidence the pivotal position occupied by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Nigerian economy as it is reported that circa 96% of Nigerian businesses are SMEs. These SMEs hold a compelling growth potential which should be exploited to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria. However, there is a yawning gap in terms of access to finance and financial incentives for these enterprises, which crowdfunding seeks to fill.

Recently a Federal High Court Judge sitting in Port Harcourt was compulsorily retired by the National Judicial Council (NJC). The reason for his retirement as reported in the media was the delivery of a judgment after the statutory 90 days from close of final address. This event brought to the public domain, the current Directive by NJC that the 90 days rule must be adhered to strictly. The aim of the Directive no doubt is primarily to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.

Crowdfunding has recently emerged as an innovative source of finance for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) with an estimated value of USD 16.2 billion raised in funds, globally as at 2014. The sector has an enormous potential of becoming the largest financier of SMEs worldwide as entrepreneurs continuously seek flexible ways of raising funds beyond traditional bank loans and family loans.

Until recently, the trading of securities of unlisted public companies in Nigeria was freely carried out through private arrangements with little or no regulatory oversight. This arrangement seemingly did not encourage transparency, enhance liquidity of the securities and did not augur well for price certainty/discovery.

In order to ensure transparency in trading of securities of unlisted public limited companies in Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) introduced the Rules on Trading in Unlisted Securities (the “Rules”) effective April 13, 2015.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal was set up by Section 20 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, CAP C15, Volume 2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to deal with complaints of corruption by public servants for the breaches of its provisions. Since the establishment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal on the 1st of January, 1991, trials and conviction of public servants suspected to have committed offences which qualify as acts of official corruption have been few and far between.

The 1963 Nigerian Immigration Act (“1963 Act”) had been a primary legislation with regards to immigration and other ancillary matters in Nigeria. Given that the 1963 Act had been perceived as out dated, not meeting up with present day realities and long overdue for overhauling, the past president signed into law, the Immigration Act, 2015 ( “Act”).

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE IMMIGRATION ACT, 2015

The Act introduces some innovations over the 1963 Act. This paper presents a highlight of the major reforms introduced by the Act as follows:

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, (“NERC”) regulates activities in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (“NESI”) as stipulated by the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (“EPSRA”) 2005. Section 62 of the EPSRA establishes the broad basis for the issuance of licenses by NERC to operators in the NESI, whilst section 63 emphasizes the powers of NERC to make regulations, codes, etc., regarding the rights and obligations of a licensee.

Security is crucial in virtually every loan transaction as it ensures that a lender is able to recover its costs in the event of a borrower’s default. Over the years, lenders have accepted various security packages in support of a borrower’s obligations including fixed and floating charges. A floating charge over the assets of a borrower may often be preferred by the borrower due to its nature as a form of security that does not hamper the borrower’s seamless conduct of its daily business operations whilst also serving as security for its obligations to lenders.

Introduction

The Federal Government of Nigeria recently commenced reforms to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”/”Corporation”) with the dissolution of its board and executive management and the hiring of a new team to take over the running of the affairs of the Corporation. The thrust of the reform agenda of NNPC is captured in a quote attributed to the new GMD, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu:

“NNPC isn’t a public service, it is a corporation and it is going to be run like a company, generating money and profit for Nigerians…”

Introduction

The Petroleum Act (the Act), which is the key petroleum industry legislation in Nigeria, makes provisions for the regulation of the Nigerian petroleum industry. The Act provides that no person shall import, store, sell or distribute petroleum product in Nigeria without a license granted by the Minister of Petroleum (the “License”). The Act further vests powers on the Minister to regulate the importation, handling, storage, and distribution of petroleum, petroleum products and other flammable oils and liquids.