The State is seeking to amend the law to make a provision that will make Annual General Meetings (AGMs) options. If the MPs approve the amendments to the Companies Act 2015, companies will have the option of holding virtual, physical or hybrid AGMs.
The Bill found under section 14, of the Act, is titled The Business Laws (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2020. It says:
“Section 3 of the Companies Act is amended —
(a) in the definition of the term “general meeting” by inserting the words “which may be a physical, virtual or hybrid meeting’ immediately after the words “general meeting;
The bill further defines the terms used
(b) by inserting the following new definitions in proper alphabetic sequence-
“hybrid meeting” in relation to a company general meeting means a meeting where some participants are in the same physical location whole other participants join the meeting through electronic means including video conference, audio conference, web conference or such other electronic means;
“virtual meeting” in relation to a company general meeting, means a meeting where all members join and participate in the meeting through electronic means including video conference, audio conference, web conference or such other electronic means.”
The Bill is also seeking to amend section 283 and 285 of the Companies act that will give firms the option of holding virtual, hybrid or physical meetings with specifications on how to join in and participate in the meetings.
Virtual and hybrid meetings have become popular following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic that saw many companies adopt work-from-home models. The practice is now widely accepted with more companies changing their modus operandi to accommodate virtual operations.
Virtual AGMs will go a long way in helping companies save on meeting costs which often include paying for hotels conferencing facilities, meals, accommodation and travelling expenses for officials.