The Speaker of Parliament Hon. Justice Nathaniel Abel Stronge last week ordered the bankruptcy bill 2009 to the Legislative Committee because of its technicalities.
Whilst introducing the bill in Parliament, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momodu Kargbo stated that the bill provides for any person to be declared bankrupt that cannot pay his/her debt of a specified amount, should be disqualified from holding elective or public office or any other related matters.He explained that in business, bankruptcy was a normal act of life and was a component in both business and commercial laws as well as in credit which enhances growth of the economy.Momodu Kargbo also said the bill seeks to instill the element of fear to make sure that the assets of a bankrupt entity or person was distributed fairly and equitably to the creditors .”Now it is only the court of law that can declare a person bankrupt and the bill arises out of a number of developments whereby a person or an entity is incapable to meet its credit oaths to people. That is one key condition to declare a person bankrupt” he statedContinuing, he said “in such circumstances, a court of law can declare a person bankrupt and a trustee is appointed to look after the balance of the assets and to undertake an equitable distribution to the creditors”In such circumstances, the Minister explained that the bankrupt entity or person is relieved of his relation to the creditors as it will be the trustee having been appointed by the court that will undertake the distribution of the remaining portion of his assets. “There are circumstances in which that may not obtain even that I have just said a person who is declared bankrupt, the trustee takes over his assets, is relieved from his debt. There are ways which that kind of person or entity can behave that will raise suspicion and which may not allow the court to relieve his or/her of responsibilities. In effect, somebody can fake bankruptcy just to maybe hide a small portion of his assets and for him to be relieved of all of his or/her creditors” he said.The deputy Finance Minister said as the country was moving to invite investors into the country, such were the laws they look out for as they promote standards, equity and morality in the conduct of business. Having moved that the bill be read for the second time, the Speaker ordered it to the Legislative Committee because of its technicalities.