The Chemical and Pharmaceutical sub-sector of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria(PMGMAN) has challenged the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) over its environmental policies.
In a meeting held over the weekend, the manufacturers aired their grievances over the agency’s environmental policies and the negative impacts it had on the sector.
The Manufacturers’ Position: The manufacturers complained that because the agency’s regulatory functions are not properly aligned, the outcome is affecting operations of the manufacturers.
According to the Chairman of PMGMAN, Okey Akpa, the non-alignment of these functions incurs additional costs of production which, in turn, make products manufactured in Nigeria uncompetitive in the international market.
“Today, in Nigeria, manufacturers in the industry are constantly faced with environmental challenges bordering on regulations, obtaining permits, over-regulation, balancing the ecological system in the wake of growing concern for environmental sustainability and the use of green energy, multiplication of functions by government agencies, among other challenges.”
Note that the meeting was aimed at fostering a cordial relationship between members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria members and NESREA. In the same vein, the Director-General of Man, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadiri, who was represented at the meeting by MAN’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr Ambrose Oruche, acknowledged that MAN expects “NESREA to provide firsthand information to the members on how to conduct their businesses without infringing on environmental laws.”
NESREA to MAN: Meanwhile, the Director-General NESREA, Prof Aliyu Jauro, who was represented by the Director of Inspection and Enforcement, Mrs Miranda Amachree, stated that the problem being faced by businesses are issues that cut across many Government agencies.
He stated that while the solution does not entirely lie with NESREA, the agency has made concessions where necessary; particularly under the chemical import clearance regime which has now been harmonized with the permit of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The NESREA DG went further to advise manufacturers to engage the services of environmental officers to handle the environmental units of their facilities towards ensuring self-regulation and proper submission of documents.
Note that the issue of environmental pollution caused by toxic waste disposal is a serious one which must be adequately taken care of. This is why NESREA was established and charged with the responsibility of protecting and developing conservative/sustainable initiatives that will help protect the country’s natural resources.
It is, therefore, important for the manufacturers and the regulators to find a balance.