By Biola Lawal
Abuja: (Flowerbudnews): The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Moji Adeyeye has assured operators of Nano Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises NMSMEs of NAFDAC commitment to help them grow.
Prof Adeyeye noted that NAFDAC assistance would enable the Small Scale enterprises act as catalyst for the nations economic transformation.
The Director General gave the assurance at a recent meeting organized by the Lagos State Office of the Agency with operators of NMSMEs in the nations commercial capital.
Prof. Adeyeye said that NAFDAC would continue to drive collaboration and understanding with the NMSMEs to empower them in terms of the next step for their businesses.
We remain committed to meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the business community, she said, adding that the gains and positive impact of subjecting their processes and products to regulatory scrutiny are immense.
According to the DG, such regulatory scrutiny is also meant to protect their businesses.When I see you, I see myself because I was raised up trading with my mother, with my grandmother selling things.
I know how hard it is to put money together and trade. I know how hard it is or the anxious moments that the average trader has, wondering whether he or she is going to have profit, she empathized with the small business owners.
In a statement by Resident Media Consultant to NAFDAC, Sayo Akintola, in Lagos on Monday, Prof Adeyeye noted that the NMSMEs drive the economy of Nigeria, noting that Nigeria had a recession few years ago and came out of it quickly despite the challenges of the mega industry.
How did we come out of it quickly?’’, she asked rhetorically, as she swiftly responded by saying that the NMSMEs sub-sector was the magic wand that sustained the economy during the turbulent times.
However, because of our mandate, food, packaged water, and cosmetics. Three of our mandate are under NMSMEs, even some chemicals, some herbals.
Therefore, we do not take NMSMEs matter lightly’, she said. She added that operators of NMSMEs should always focus on one product that is well accepted by the consumers rather than manufacturing many products at the same time whereby none would be doing well in the market.
Dont make five products at a time please. You can try it and the one that is fast you can focus on that and make it great,’’ she said, as she admonished NMSME operators to dream big by entering the global market with their products.
She emphasized the commercial benefits and opportunities that abound for products that have been subjected to regulatory scrutiny, describing them as immense. One of such is the possibility of exporting such goods.
With exportation comes quality. Without being quality-conscious, exported products will be rejected. We are here to work with you to take your trading to the level that you want. I want us to also think not of just what we consume here but what we can export’.
The NAFDAC boss, however, disclosed that the Agency is already talking with the United Kingdom Department of Business and Trade to build a bilateral relationship whereby Nigerian products that are exported to the United Kingdom will be of quality, (having been registered and certified by NAFDAC).
She regretted the incidence of rejected food exports from Nigeria at the point of entry due to bad quality, stressing that if such food items were subjected to NAFDAC scrutiny, the incidents of rejected food exports from Nigeria would have been greatly curtailed.
Please lets think of the future or where we can take our products to, she said, adding that Nigerians abroad are concerned about what we are doing in terms of food that they cannot live without overseas.
Some of our people cannot live without eating Eba, (Cassava flour) Pounded yam or Amala (Yam flour). Some people cannot cook without palm oil. There are a lot of opportunities for us to tap into, she further admonished them.
Despite the fact that NMSMEs trading is not a mega industry, Prof. Adeyeye insisted that we still have to do the testing to make sure that whatever is put out there first, is not going to harm whoever is taking it. And its also going to last long enough on the shelf. Thats where the quality aspect comes in.
The NAFDAC DG assured the business owners of the continued support of the Agency, emphasizing that the staff of the Agency are being trained not to compromise, and to hold customers with high esteem based on quality management system.
She however, assured business owners who are desirous of entering the marketplace with NAFDAC regulated products of maximum support, saying we will provide you with the necessary guidance, and support.
The Lagos State Office led by Dr Monica Eimunjeze put together some informative presentations for the entrepreneurs benefits which demonstrated what exists as well as NAFDAC regulatory expectations across board. (Flowerbudnews)