By Aderogba George
Abuja:. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has pledged to support the Nano Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NMSMEs) to enable them to grow the nation’s economy.
A statement by NAFDAC Resident Media Consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola, on Tuesday stated that the agency’s Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, made the disclosure at a meeting in Lagos.
According to the director-general, NAFDAC will continue to drive collaboration and understanding between NMSMEs and the regulatory authority with a view to empowering them in terms of the next step for their businesses.
Adeyeye said that NAFDAC remained committed to meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the business community, adding that the gains and impact of subjecting products and services to regulatory scrutiny were vital.
The director-general said that such regulatory scrutiny was all about protecting businesses and their environment.
“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.
She said that NMSMEs was capable of driving the economy of Nigeria, adding that Nigeria had a recession a few years ago and still came out of it despite all the odds and the challenges of the mega industry.
“How did we come out of it quickly?’’ asking rhetorically, as she said that NMSMEs subsector was the magic wand that sustained the economy during the turbulent period.
She said that this was possible because of the mandate from the agency on food, packaged water, cosmetics and others.
Adeyeye said that three of the agency’s mandates were under NMSMEs, along with chemical and herbal regulations.
She said that the agency would not take NMSMEs matter lightly.
She urged operators of NMSMEs to always focus on one product that is well accepted by the consumers rather than manufacturing many products at the same time where none would be accepted.
The NAFDAC boss admonished NMSMEs operators to dream big by entering the global market with their products, adding that commercial opportunities and benefits were abound for products that had been subjected to regulatory scrutiny.
According to her, one of such opportunities is the possibility of exporting such goods, noting that exportation is tied to quality.
Adeyeye said that NAFDAC was on ground to work with NMSMEs to take its trading to a higher level, adding that they must not only think of what to consume but what could be exported.
Adeyeye said that the agency was already talking with the UK Department of Business and Trade to build a bilateral relations in which Nigerian products that are exported to that country would be of high quality having been registered with NAFDAC.
She expressed regrets at the incidence of rejected food exports from Nigeria at the point of entry due to bad quality.
She said that if such food items had been subjected to NAFDAC scrutiny, the incidence of rejection would have been curtailed.
“Let us think of the future or where we can take our products to, Nigerians abroad are concerned about what we are doing in terms of foods that we are exporting.
“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 said.
She insisted that the agency must continue to do testing of foods and others things to make sure that whatever was put out there first was not going to be harmful.
The director-general assured NMSME of NAFDAC’s continued support of NAFDAC, emphasizing that staff of the agency were being trained not to compromise and to hold customers with high esteem based on quality management system.
She equally assured business owners who are desirous of entering the marketplace with NAFDAC regulated products of maximum support, saying the agency would provide them with necessary guidance and support. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)