Minister Decries Duplication of Roles at Ports by FG Agencies

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Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyeka Oyetola singing the Performance Bond with Ministry's Agencies CEOs and Directors in Lagos on Thursday after a retreat.

By Innocent Orok

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

The Minister expressed his dismay over this challenges Wednesday, 15 May, 2024, in Lagos, 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 enacting welfarist policies. He identified the 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 alongside 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 is embarked upon by both the Standards 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 alongside levies and taxes paid poses 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 linger on will penultimately affect government’s revenue outlook.

He further assured stakeholders in the importation and exportation of fish that other challenges such as accelerated laboratory sampling, delay in the issuance of licence certificates amongst others will be taken upon by the Director of fishery 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 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 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 request and support from the government, highlighted that so much perspective is 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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