By Aderogba George
Abuja, Nov. 9, 2020 The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has said it is committed to grow Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed in a statement on Monday that the idea was necessary in harnessing the potential of trade and investment for the nation’s economic growth.
She said that NAFDAC alongside other stakeholders on the National Action Committee (NAC) for the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was committed to its successful implementation, scheduled to begin in January 2021.
She said NAFDAC was involved in the NAC’s sensitising stakeholders, particularly on AfCFTA agreements on Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs), Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS).
“This is in addition to her advocacy on the need to improve all the national and regulatory infrastructures that will reduce the cost of production.
“It will also make the MSME products competitive in the AfCFTA area; all our operations are set and ready to accommodate AfCFTA,’’ she said.
Adeyeye said that Nigerian economy was undergoing diversification from oil to non-oil products, stressing that the MSME sector would play a critical role in achieving this.
According to her, upon formalisation of processes, MSMEs will get involved in export of regulated products including foods, Shea butter, honey and others.
She further explained that NAFDAC had been involved in collaboration with sister agencies towards achieving this objective.
“NAFDAC on Aug. 9, 2019 held an interactive stakeholders’ meeting on effective inter-agencies collaboration to diversify Nigerian economy through export.
“The staff of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Postal Service (NPS), Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC) and the Media, were all in attendance.
“Globally, MSMEs contribute up to 45 per cent of total employment and up to 33 per cent of national income in emerging economies.
“In a survey review in 2017, according to National Policy on MSMEs, it was revealed that in Nigeria there were 41.4 million MSMEs.
“This corroborates the words of the Vice-President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, that MSMEs are the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialisation.
“Osinbajo also said that MSMEs are part of inclusive economic development; and the most important component of industrialization as set out in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,’’ Adeyeye disclosed.
She also said that the significance of MSMEs in the nation’s economy was enormous, adding that if enabling environment was provided, MSMEs could get Nigeria out of the present predicament of unacceptable rate of unemployment.
Adeyeye said that MSMEs was also capable of getting the country out of illicit financial engagements, insecurity, political and other social violence.
According to her, NAFDAC, being an active member of the Presidential Enabling Environment Council (PEBEC), has continued to support the job creation agenda of the present administration in line with the provisions of Executive Order No. 001.
Adeyeye said that NAFDAC has carried out a lot of reforms aimed at creating an enabling environment for MSMEs businesses to thrive, focusing on micro and small companies.
She said that the agency would continue to ensure that only products that are safe, efficacious and wholesome reach the market and the consuming public.