Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has placed a ban on 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, disclosed this at a press conference he addressed on Tuesday in Lagos, saying the state government had introduced harmonised inspection of factories and other workplaces in the state to replace the old system.
“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 centre with considerable number of manufacturing industries, more than 200 financial institutions and well over 8,000 recognised business concerns and commercial outlets,” Ogunleye said.
He explained that in line with global best practices, business concerns in the state were expected to comply with all the existing laws and regulations of the state government and subject themselves to inspection, monitoring and supervision by the state’s regulatory agencies.
“It is against this background, with various complaints received from the organised private sector (OPS) on over-regulation, multiplicity of Inspection and unilateral/unauthorised sanctions and levies imposed by some MDAs, that the state government has taken the necessary step to harmonise 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 pacesetter, 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,” Ogunleye added.
According to the commissioner, the new system will also improve and encourage sustenance of safety standard in workplaces in the state, adding that the harmonised inspection scheme would be carried out by trained state inspectors mainly drawn from various ministries, including Ministry of Health (Occupational Health & Safety), Ministry of the Environment (Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency), among others.
Speaking further, Ogunleye disclosed that 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 organisations in the state, describing the exercise as a huge success.
He reiterated that the state government would continue to make the operating environment more wholesome through provision and application of factors that were within the stated mandates.
Ogunleye, however, urged the organised private sector to cooperate with the five-man committee in order to ensure a safer and healthier state.
The five-man committee, according to Ogunleye, include Dr. K. E. Layeni-Adeyemo, a very senior director from the Lagos State Ministry of Health, as its chairman, while Mr. Mr. F. O. Awosanya from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives will serve as secretary.
Other 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.