MAN carpets regulators over duplicated charges
Members of the Petroleum Products sub-group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have voiced displeasure regarding over-regulation of their activities in the sector, stressing that paying duplicated fees for the same services to different regulatory agencies is burdensome.
Adesoji Fagbemi, chairman of the Petroleum Products Group of MAN, said at an interactive forum with the National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), held in Lagos last Thursday, that members of the association have complained bitterly about being over-regulated by different agencies. He said paying duplicated fees for the same purpose is burdensome and affects margins of manufacturers negatively.
“The petroleum sector is being regulated mainly by the Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR), but along the line, some other regulatory agencies come in and administer the same function that tends to overtake or limit the functions of the DPR with each of them requesting for consultants approved by them.”
He continued that this has put the group members under pressure and has also made the business environment unfriendly for them, all of which are contrary to government’s plan on ease of doing business in the country.
“We have this pool of consultants who are providing these services. We want a situation whereby their activities are streamlined within a body. So, for any consultant registered with any of the agencies either DPR, NOSDRA or NESREA, their reports when tendered will be accepted by any of the organisations.”
He further stated that each agency should clearly define and synchronise their responsibilities while ensuring that operators are not troubled with the same regulatory requirements from different agencies.
Speaking at the forum was Peter Idabor, director-general of NOSDRA, represented by Daniel Okoromu, said that they are charged with the responsibility of responding and investigating oil spills and waste spills while conducting necessary inspections when due.
Lawrence Chidi Anukam, director-general of NESREA, who replied to the grievances of the association members, clarified that the environmental audit dues are to be paid once every three years and that the members are allowed to search for consultants themselves provided that the consultants are approved by the agency.
He further stated that the agency focuses on protection the environment and ensuring that manufacturers comply with environmental regulatory standards for the benefit of everyone.
Segun Ajayi Kadir, director general of MAN, also speaking at the event, said that the forum was aimed at fostering a more cordial relationship between members of MAN and the regulatory agencies in order to have a better understanding of the policies and functions of these agencies and to explore areas of collaboration and partnership to further improve the business environment for manufacturing companies in Nigeria.
Kadir, represented by Ambrose Oruche, director of corporate affairs, further stated that businesses cannot thrive in an un-conducive environment and therefore the regulatory agencies should help proffer solutions to challenges being faced by the members of the association in order to ensure sustainable development and improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Okerayi Adekunle, a member of the association present at the forum, said that the interactive forum was quite encouraging and helpful as he was able to directly express his grievances on duplicated cost and repeated charges especially by the officials of the NEDSRA regulatory agency, but armed with the information obtained from the DG himself, he was ready to challenge any questionable action and charges of the officials.