Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

Rising inter-agency opposition on issues speak volume of government’s direction

Synergy, strategic coordination are supposed to be the best bet for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government in the drive for good governance and service delivery but emerging occurrences show rancor, lack of harmonization and hate among them.

Analysts say recent events amongst agencies of government only reveal competition or hate; rather than synchronization. In all, ordinary Nigerians remain the main losers as they are at sea on which agencies to follow its position on issues of urgent national importance.

The development is becoming very rampant and need to be tamed before it gets to economic policy issues even as the country struggle to exit recession and galloping inflation.

It is already distorting issues on health matters, especially when the current matter of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks comes to bear.

Weekend, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, set up a panel of experts to investigate the controversies surrounding the level of benzoic and ascorbic acid in the soft drinks being produced by the Nigerian Bottling Company.

“A group of experts have been convened to immediately investigate and submit a report. I have also requested a meeting with SON. The issue goes beyond the legal aspects of the court verdict. It is about morality.

“Nigerians need to know that we will put their safety first. The questions are: Is the Coca-Cola produced in Nigeria safe? Is the acidity level acceptable? What is the difference between Coca-Cola products available in Nigeria and the United Kingdom?

“Nigerians are justifiably angry as it concerns the recent verdict of a case involving an exporter. I have instructed NAFDAC to liaise with SON to address Nigerians immediately concerning the safety of Coca-Cola products made locally.”

Already, the Lagos State High Court had ordered NAFDAC to direct the NBC to include a warning on the labels of Fanta and Sprite bottles that the products could not be taken with Vitamin C.

Before the action of the Minister, the Acting Head at the Lagos Office of Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mrs. Susie Onwuka had equally announced that it will do exactly the same thing.

Whereas observers query why both the ministry and CPC cannot close ranks in the matter, it is important to realize that both ways, taxpayers money which would have been used for more pressing issues will drain away when the two search for what one can search and syndicate results.

Still on last week, a report from DSS apparently quashed the Senate confirmation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Magu’s response when the report was mentioned to him revealed more inter agency rivalry than coordination.

Earlier in the month when fake tyres were intercepted by the law enforcement agencies, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) was quick to dissociate self, saying it was the duty of Standard organization of Nigeria (SON) to check the quality of imported goods. NCS claimed that its duties at ports are narrowed down to collecting duties for the government and not checking on standards.