The Organised Private Sector (OPS) has urged the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the problem of bad access roads to Apapa ports in Lagos, warning that many businesses may close shops if the Apapa road remains bad.
The OPS spoke on Wednesday at a conference in Lagos on the Petroleum Industry Bill and the impact of bad roads in Apapa on businesses.
The OPS comprises Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
The others are the National Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NASME) and the National Association of Small Scale Industries (NASSI).
Mr. Segun Oshinowo, Director-General of NECA, said that many companies would close shops if Apapa roads remained bad.
“The OPS is concerned about access roads to the Apapa ports. It is affecting overhead costs of businesses of our members.
“Preventable accidents as a result of the bad roads lead to huge loss of revenues, loss of jobs and closure of businesses. This will further worsen trade facilitation,’’ Oshinowo said.
He advised the government to create alternative roads, put measures in place to free traffic and proffer lasting solutions to gridlocks in Apapa.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadiri, Director-General of MAN, advocated creation of two regulatory bodies for the petroleum industry as against one body recommended in the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) before the National Assembly.
Ajayi-Kadiri said that there was the need to avoid “costly mistakes’’ that could work against reforming the sector.
According to him, one of such mistakes is a provision in the PIGB for a single regulator for the industry.
He said that two regulatory bodies – one for the upstream and another for the downstream – would serve the sector better.
“A cursory look at some of the provisions of the PIGB revealed the likely emergence of the Petroleum Regulatory Commission (PRC) – an omnibus commission that will be empowered to regulate the entire petroleum sector.
“We do not share the view of the Assembly on creation of a regulator for a sector that is not homogenous in its activities and deliverables.
“The idea of a single regulator for the whole sector runs contrary to industry standards which by default already provides for an upstream and downstream regulator,” Ajayi-Kadiri said.
The director-general of MAN said that the responsibilities of the proposed commission was too wide as it cut across various value chains in a key sector of the economy.
He commended the National Assembly for taking steps to reform the petroleum industry through the PIGB, and called for accelerated actions.
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