Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has banned ggovernment Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs from carrying out multiple inspection of industries and work places in the state, to avert the pitfalls associated with the practice.
Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, who disclosed this on Tuesday at a press conference in Lagos said the state government has introduced the harmonized inspection of factories and other workplaces in the state instead of each MDAs going for different inspections in workplaces.
“This new system entails having a joint inspection team of all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) rather than the previous modus operandi of having four MDAs going on separate factory inspections.
“As you are aware, Lagos is a mega city with a burgeoning population of over 21 million people and it is Nigeria’s financial, commercial and industrial nerve center with considerable number of manufacturing industries, more than 200 financial institutions and well over 8,000 recognized business concerns and commercial outlets,” he said.
Ogunleye explained that in line with global best practices, business concerns in the state were expected to comply with all existing laws and regulations of the state government and subject themselves to inspection, monitoring and supervision by the state’s regulatory agencies.
He said this would help to determine their compliance in terms of protection of public health and the environment, adding that it against this background, with various complaints received from the Organized Private Sector (OPS) on over-regulation, multiplicity of Inspection and unilateral/unauthorized sanctions and levies imposed by some MDAs, that the state government had taken the necessary step to Harmonize inspection of factories and other workplaces by regulatory bodies of the state.
“This laudable scheme will be the first in Nigeria and Lagos State, being a pace setter, always creates conducive environment for businesses to thrive. This scheme will reduce cost, save time and strengthen self-compliance and monitoring. It will encourage efficient, effective and professional approach, and eradicate over-lapping functions of regulatory MDAs in the state,” he explained.
The commissioner stated that it would also improve and encourage sustenance of safety standard in workplaces in the state.
According to him, “The harmonized Inspection scheme will be carried out by trained state Inspectors mainly drawn from Ministry of Health (Occupational Health & Safety), Ministry of the Environment,(Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency), Ministry of Special Duties (Lagos State Safety Commission) and Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, which serves as the Secretariat for the Scheme.
“The Pilot Inspection of the harmonized inspection scheme to test-run the checklist had been conducted in November last year in six medium to large organizations in the state and it was a huge success. In line with the need to continue to promote the manufacturing sector and encourage sustainable economic development, the State Government has approved the commencement of the Harmonized Inspection of Workplaces in the state.”
He said the government would continue to make the operating environment more wholesome through provision and application of factors that were within its mandates.
He urged the organized private sector to cooperate with the committee in order to have a safer and healthier state.
“As a proactive Government, we shall not rest on our oars knowing so well that the task of achieving a safer environment in our workplaces and attaining the goal of sustainable economic development require sound policies that will stand the test of time.
“We shall continue to provide the much needed road map for our journey to economic sustainability which is the main focus of this present Administration of His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in the State,” he said.
Members of the five-man committee are: Dr. K. E. Layeni-Adeyemo, a very senior Director from the Lagos State Ministry of Health, as its chairman; the Secretary of the Committee is Mr F. O. Awosanya from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives. Other members are Mrs. R. Odeneye, from the Lagos State Safety Commission; Mr. T. Adebodun from the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency and Mr. A. F. Kuforiji, also from the Ministry of Health.