By Aderogba George
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has restated the need for Nigeria to promote local manufacturing sector.
The Director General of the NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made this assertion at a news conference to commemorate the launch of palliatives for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) on Friday in Abuja.
According to her, the launch of the palliatives for MSMEs is as a result of the agency’s drive to promote the country’s economy and to cushion the effect of the present hard times on the sector.
“We did this because times are hard and people are faced with many challenges, this is an opportunity for us to look inward and support the country through MSMEs
“This is one of the reasons we are focusing on MSMEs.
“Micro small businesses are significant in terms of driving the country’s economy, without them, our economy may suffer, without them recession might come in.
“Today mark what we are going to do for the next 90 days, the first 200 micro small businesses will get the opportunity to register free,” she said.
Adeyeye said that the agency had also reduced the fees for registration by 80 per cent for companies that had already established but are yet to renew their licenses.
She said that the fines on those companies that had already registered but yet to renew their licences would also be waived to encourage growth.
The NAFDAC boss, however, said that importation of so many products, particularly drugs have negative impact on the nation’s economy.
She expressed concerns that Nigeria depends so much on foreign goods.
She said that the dependency on foreign goods would not grow our economy but, rather retard its development.
The DG noted that the country had over neglected local industries and local production, adding that COVID-19 pandemic has caused increase in prices of imported goods.
She said Nigeria should look inward and improve on its local production of the citizens essential needs instead of relying on foreign goods.
“We need to wake up and do what we are supposed to do, that means, less dependence on other countries, if we can learn this lesson, COVID-19 will be a blessing
Adeyeye commended the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Ministry of Finance for seeing the need to pay more attention to local industries.
She also said that there has not been any vaccine yet both home and abroad to cure the coronavirus, adding that effort is ongoing in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany to secure vaccines for it.
The DG, however, welcome any herbal practitioners, who is ready to show his or her experience with scientific prove to treat the COVID-19.