By Martins Ifijeh
To mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has reduced tariff for registration of products by small businesses for a three month period.
Announcing this during a virtual launch of MSMES Palliative Programme over the weekend, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said the gesture would include zero tariffs for the first 200 MSMEs to register their products from the launch day.
She said: “In furtherance to comply with the Executive Order on the Ease of Doing Business as well as proactive response to the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, we have instituted palliatives for the micro and small businesses. NAFDAC is doing this through reduction in registration fees and assisted e-registration via NAFDAC Automated Product Administration and Monitoring System (NAPAMS).
“This programme will run concurrently in the six geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). We are offering zero tariffs for first 200 MSMEs to register their products from the launch day; 80 per cent reduction in tariffs for the registration of MSMEs products for a period of three months, and we will be giving waivers on administrative charges for late renewal of expired licences for products of micro and small businesses.”
Adeyeye encouraged MSMEs to take advantage of the incentives to massively embark on e-registration of their products, adding that the enterprises can support the agency by adhering to its laws, regulations and guidelines in the course of doing business to ensure quality standards and safety.
On his part, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo commended the agency for the strategic response to the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to businesses, especially MSMES in Nigeria.
He said: “Given the vulnerability of MSMEs, our response as a government was to find ways of not just giving assistance to existing MSMES, but to ensure that there is practical and active flip to new MSMEs so that the growth of this sector is not discouraged by the current economic trauma.
“This is why the e-registration assistance for MSMES through NAPAMS is timely. Henceforth, MSMES can now process the registration of their product with NAFDAC in the comfort of their homes,” he added.