Legal and Management Strategies: The Synergy for Survival and Growth of Companies in Nigeria
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Economic circumstances like the recession and cut-throat competition in recent years have now forced companies to pay closer attention to their corporate policies and strategies for dealing with economic opportunities and for remaining one step ahead of competition. This is true for the highly industrialized economies as it is for less developed countries where multinational, transnational and local companies compete vigorously with one another for market share and for good corporate image, by identifying and in some cases helping to shape public policy for the greater good of the communities in which they operate. This thesis focused on Legal and Management Strategies: The Synergy for Survival and Growth of Companies in Nigeria. It is comprised of five chapters beginning with general introduction, objectives of the research, justification, scope, methodology, literature review, and organizational layout. The thesis explains the nexus between finance and investment by defining finance and investment, and, highlighting the objectives and significance of finance, investment scenario, investment fora, government policy and provisions investors, sources of finance, government banks and other financial institutions, general public and company employees. Also the thesis indicates determinants of company survival, for example, the quality of resources – human resources, material resources, financial resources, the quality of resource management, damage and waste control systems, the quality of time and opportunity management, contingency and emergency management, determinants of company growth, internalization of technology, in-house development of human resources: in-service training, incentives for skill enhancement and creation of credit worthiness. The thesis appraises survival and growth of three successful companies, such as Unilever Nigeria Plc, Neimeth International Pharmaceutical Plc and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc and recommends survival and growth strategies for companies in Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Nigerian economy has passed through a series of phases in its history from
the pre and post-colonial stages of boom, recession and depression at various times over
the years to present day. At each of these stages, the various sectors of Nigerian
economy have had to contend with whatever situation or stage, the over-all national
economy might be at that given point in time.
During periods of boom, an economy experiences buoyancy, and citizens have
high standard of living and an era of merriment while during recession or depression,
the situation changes as most sectors of the economy experience a decline and, the
populace, a lowering of the standard of living.
What this means, both, for the private and public business sectors of the
economy, is adjustment and re-adjustment to match the situation. Business operation
and strategies change according to the dictates and tempo of the economy. Both short
and long term objectives of business are reappraised and re-designed in accordance
with any given situation.
The word ‘company’ has been defined by various writers and judicial
authorities. However, all make a references to group, economic or business interests.
Webster’s Dictionary1 describes a ‘company’ as:
a number of people united in an industrial or commercial enterprise, for example a firm of partners.
According to Collin’s Dictionary2,
a company is a group of people organized to buy or sell or provide service which has been legally incorporated and so is a legal entity from its individual members.
A ‘company’ according to Osborn’s Concise Law Dictionary3, means
an association of persons formed for the purpose of some business or undertaking carried on in the name of the association, each member having the right of assigning his shares to any other person, subject to the regulation of the company. Companies are either incorporated or unincorporated. An incorporated company is an entity distinct from its members. Companies are incorporated either: (1) by Charter; (2) by Special Act of Parliament; or (3) by registration under one of the public general Acts relating to companies.
In the case of Smith v. Anderson4, the learned Judge, Pace James L.J said that
‘company’ is the result of an arrangement by which parties intend to form a partnership
which is constantly changing,… and with the intention that so far as the partners can by
agreement between themselves bring about such a result, the new partners shall succeed
to the assets and liabilities of the old partnership.
Davies5 states, that, the term is used for people generally associated for
economic purposes, even though not in all cases.
It is statutorily defined in section 567(1) of Companies and Allied Matters Act
20046 as ‘company’ or ‘existing company’ means “a company formed and registered
under this Act or, as the case may be, formed and registered in Nigeria before and in
existence on the commencement of this Act”. A company is a legal entity formed for
the purpose of conducting business that is separated from its owners, the shareholders.
In Salomon v. Salomon & Co. Ltd7, Lord McNaghten, held that the company is at
law a different person from the subscribers.
Aniagolu JSC, in the case of Trenco (Nig) Limited v. African Real Estate
Limited8, states inter alia, that, though a company is a legal entity and has an
independent legal personality, it is of course, an artificial person or entity and
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