By Oluyinka Onigbinde
The Chairman, Toiletry and Cosmetic Manufacturers Group, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ikpong Umoh, has bemoaned the multiplicity of regulatory agencies which has always contributed to the high cost of doing business in the country. In his address at a lecture organized by Financial Business Team on making the port environment more business friendly Umoh said until the agencies are synchronized into a single platform, it will mar the executive order on the ease of doing business.
On compliance level, Umoh said some government agencies are yet to adhere to basic operational principles, noting that they are still defaulting by providing dysfunctional contact telephone lines and emails that are not working.
Prompt and unencumbered communication between agencies of government and the business community, he said is critical to easing the business environment. Umoh advised service providers to come out clean and rectify the avenues of communication in order to comply with the ease of doing business initiative by reducing human contact in port areas.
The founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, also expressed concern that the agencies of government are not working hand in hand with one another, adding that based on the present state of the port system, it is on the verge of collapse.
He said the key to building a functional system is to ensure that laws are implemented while defaulters are brought to justice. When these are met, he said, achieving objectives of the ease of doing business initiative will not be a difficult task.
“There is a system collapse. What the executive order translates to is a total indictment of the agencies of the government. All hands must be on deck in order to achieve the executive order.
“Until we begin to do things right, achieving the executive order will not be easy. Ease of doing business is all about us doing the right thing. If we don’t, we are just wasting our time. But it has to do with leadership of this country at all levels. Wherever you find yourself as a leader, take responsibility and make sure things are done properly. That is how to build a better society,” The NAGAFF boss stated.
Also speaking at the forum, the Customs Area Controller of the Ports and Terminal Multiservice Limited (PTML) command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Modupeola Aremu, said the policy is aimed at making Nigeria compliant with global best practices in port clearance, noting that it can be achieved through a collective action plan.