Duplication of roles at ports frustrating ease of doing business – Oyetola

The Honourable Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, has described the multiplicity and duplication of the same roles at the nation’s seaports by government agencies as a hindrance to the Federal Government’s national policy on the ease of doing business.

The Minister expressed his dismay over these challenges on Wednesday at the Day 2 session of the Ministry’s “Stakeholders Engagement on Enhanced Activities in the Blue Economy Sector.”

According to Oyetola, government exists for the very purpose of serving, helping and assisting the people through the enactment of welfare policies.

He identified President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s administration’s policy on the ease of doing business as a focal example, drawing out that the policy was introduced to ensure that impediments to conducive business operations in Nigeria, along with tax reviews, are assessed, pruned, and simplified.

The Minister made the call following complaints by the Indigenous Fish Importers and Exporters Association that laboratory and sampling are undertaken by both the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

He noted that the time and number of samples taken, along with levies and taxes paid, pose a serious challenge to the sub-sector and its members.

Stakeholders therefore appealed to the Minister to engage some of these agencies and have their activities streamlined under one body.

Responding, Oyetola assured that the Federal Government will find a solution to the said challenge, adding that fish exportation is another source of foreign exchange for the country and allowing it to linger on will ultimately affect the government’s revenue outlook.

He further assured stakeholders in the importation and exportation of fish that other challenges, such as accelerated laboratory sampling and delays in the issuance of licence certificates, among others, would be taken upon by the Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Ministry.

Amidst several representatives of the Indigenous Fish Importers and Exporters Association and the Nigeria Fish Dealers Association, producers and processors. Notable amongst these contributions was that of the Acting National Secretary, National Fish Association of Nigeria, Chidike Ukoh, who assured the Honourable Minister of the sub-sector’s capacity to meet local demands.

Chidike, however, urged the Minister on the need for the establishment of a security outfit with the mandate of securing the lives and properties of fishermen. This is even as he cited instances from the establishment of agro rangers for the agric sector and mining marshals, husbanding and protecting miners.

Also worthy of notice was the contribution by the National Vice President, Tilapia Aquaculture Developers Association of Nigeria (TADAN), Nurudeen Tiamiyu, diverting from requests and support from the government, which highlighted that so much perspective has been focused on cat and Tilapia fish farming whence other derivatives from the Blue Economy such as finfish, seaweed, urchins, session cucumbers, and crustaceans farming are being shelved either consciously or unconsciously.



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