The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has stressed the need for MSMEs to harness the potential of trade and investment for the nation’s economic growth and sustainability.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, stated this in Lagos, recently, at the National Trade and Investment Summit, 2020, where she reiterated the importance of MSMEs in the development and growth of the nation’s economy.
A statement quoted her to have disclosed that NAFDAC alongside other national stakeholders on the National Action Committee (NAC) for the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), was fully committed to its successful implementation, once it comes into effect, probably by 2021.
According to her, this is because of its advantages to Nigeria’s economy and healthy competition it will engender in the operations of MSMEs in the non-oil sector of the national economy.
Towards this end, Adeyeye pointed out that NAFDAC 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 infrastructures 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,” she added.
The NAFDAC DG 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 seamlessly she further explained that NAFDAC is involved in collaboration with sister Agencies.
Towards this objective, Adeyeye disclosed that NAFDAC in August 2019, held an interactive Stakeholder’s meeting on Effective inter-agencies collaboration to diversify Nigerian Economy through Export.
The staff of the Nigerian Customs Service, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Nigerian Postal Service, Nigeran 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.
To the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, “MSMEs are the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialization and inclusive economic development; and the most important component of industrialization as set out in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.”
Adeyeye, however, emphasised that the significance of MSMEs in the nation’s economy cannot, be over-emphasised, stressing that if enabling environment was provided, MSMEs could get the country out of the present predicament of unacceptable rate of unemployment.