The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said it will continue to encourage the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises MSMEs in order to harness the potentials of trade and investment for the nation’s economic growth and sustainability.
NAFDAC Director General Prof Mojisola Adeyeye made this known at the ‘National Trade and Investment Summit 2020’ held in Lagos, where she reiterated the importance of MSMEs in the development and growth of the nation’s economy.
She said NAFDAC alongside other national stakeholders on the National Action Committee (NAC) for the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), was fully and totally committed to its successful implementation, once it comes into effect (probably, 2021).
According to Prof. Adeyeye, this is because of AfCFTA’s advantages to Nigeria’s economy and the healthy competition it will engender in the operations of MSMEs in the non-oil sector of the national economy.
Towards this end, the NAFDAC boss pointed out that the Agency was on the train of the NAC Secretariat that is sensitising and building the capacity of 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 infrastructure that will reduce the cost of production and make the MSME products competitive in the AfCFTA Area. All our operations are set and ready to accommodate AfCFTA,” Prof. Adeyeye said.
She noted that the economy of Nigeria is undergoing diversification from oil to non-oil products, stressing that the MSME sector would play a critical role to achieve this transformation.
Upon formalisation of processes, she said MSMEs would get involved in export of regulated products including food – shea butter, honey to mention a few.
To enable a platform for trade to be seamless, Prof. Adeyeye further explained that NAFDAC was involved in collaboration with sister Agencies.
She said towards this objective, NAFDAC on August 9, 2019, held an interactive stakeholder’s meeting on effective inter-agencies collaboration to diversify the economy through export.
The staff of the Nigerian Customs Service, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Nigerian Postal Service, Nigerian Shippers Council, and the Media attended the programme.
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 recent review of 2017 survey, according to National Policy on MSMEs, it was revealed that in Nigeria there were 41.4 million MSMEs.
Prof Adeyeye, therefore, emphasised that the significance of MSMEs in the nation’s economy cannot be over-emphasized, stressing that if enabling environment is provided, MSMEs could get the country out of the present predicament of unacceptable rate of unemployment, illicit financial engagements, insecurity, political and social violence.