By Merit Ibe
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has reiterated that the task of strengthening the activities of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Council (NAFDAC), remains a collective responsibility of key stakeholders for improved performance.
President Toki Mabogunje, made the disclosure at a webinar on Public – Private dialogue meeting/launch of survey report on transactional accountability, process consistency and operational transparency- a sectoral report on NAFDAC organised by the chamber in partnership with Convention on Business integrity (CBI) and the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) in Lagos.
The president noted that key stakeholders, including business membership organisations, chambers of commerce, trade associations, other private sector stakeholders and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), sub-nationals and Federal Government have significant roles to play in championing courses that promote the country’s regulatory agencies.
Noting that all hands must be on deck to promote a seamless regulatory activities in the country, to enhance MSMEs businesses, she pointed out that the importance of business regulation cannot be over emphasised especially for the MSMEs business category.
“This is the underpinning for transactional accountability, process consistency,and operational transparency to foster as well as reinforce effective regulatory support to spur businesses to thrive in the Nigerian operating environment.”
Since part of the survey report reveals that 70 per cent Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), were complaining of the challenges they face in the hands of relevant government agencies in the country on regulations, Samson Adebayo, a professor and representative of NAFDAC director-general, Mojisola Adeyeye, appreciated the report, saying with this research findings, the agency will not be incapacitated and would continue to strengthen its sensitization by involving MSMEs.
The dialogue revealed that regulatory challenges and their attendant costs have been the major factors stifling healthy growth of businesses across several sectors of the Nigerian economy.
To that effect, Prof Adebayo said the part of the interventions of the agency included staff reorientation, zero tolerance for any form of misdeamenor. He noted the agency has set up a task force with the responsibility of carrying out their task without interference.
Sensitisation of MSMEs are on online platform, radio, TV programs where presentations are made to the public. He encouraged businesses to go to these platforms which will do them good. He also urged stakeholders to go to the agency’s website that spells out all they need to do and know to avoid being swindled.
He urged businesses to ensure their documents were right, stressing that businesses often ran away when asked to do the right thing, but assured that NAFDAC was now willing to terminate such processes in two weeks.
Adebayo said the agency had been doing aggressive re-orientations of staff and businesses, with measures such as e-registration and ease of doing businesses targeted at supporting small businesses.
Stakeholder pointed out that NAFDAC needs to encourage MSMEs to survive by reducing cost of inspection, hasten clearance of goods and others.
Mabogunje said: “We are of firm belief that NAFDAC as a regulatory agency that interacts with all categories of businesses in Nigeria contributed significantly to the process leading to the aforementioned milestone.
“Under the dynamic leadership of Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC has carried out a lot of reforms of its processes which includes the following: total repudiation of consultants or intermediaries by companies for product registration. “Businesses are encouraged to engage with NAFDAC offices directly, enforcement of 90 working days timeline for product registration, registration of micro enterprises products at the zonal offices nationwide.”