The Federal Government’s relevant regulatory agencies have consented to fast-tracking approvals for micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) in a bid to boost the country’s manufacturing sector.
To this end, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) will now grant approvals to MSMEs within 90 dayswhile the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) will give their certification to the small businesses within 60 days.
The deal was secured at the presidential Villa yesterday where Acting President Yemi Osinbajo chaired a follow-up meeting of the MSME Clinic which he had flagged off in January and had taken him to Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State earlier in the month.
Also at the Presidential Villa meeting were the Bank of Industry, Nigeria Export Promotion Council and the Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, among other stakeholders.
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, told State House correspondents afterwards that the development showed an example of good partnership between government and the private sector.
His words: “As you know, Aba is a place well known for its products, industry and entrepreneurship. It is a very good example of how a partnership can happen within the private sector and the government, between states and Federal Government and between funding agencies and enterprises.
“With specific reference to MSMEs, we have received commitments from some of our key agencies such as NAFDAC that they will do everything possible to give any approvals that they (MSMEs) need within 90 days, which, as you know, is quite ambitious and is something that we welcome.
“We received similar assurances from Standards Organisation of Nigeria that where they need to give certifications or set standards or whatever approvals that MSMEs will need from them, that they will work within 60 days,” he said
Governor Ikpeazu added that “we have received additional advice of what we need to do in Abia State to create the environment for Federal Government to step in to make us acquire equipment and machinery to drive the automation of our products, going forward.”
The National Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Clinics was launched in January by the Acting President, who had proceeded to Aba on the 26th where the first clinic was held.
The clinics will be run in 21 states across the six geopolitical zones of the country starting from the 26th of January and will continue in other states to the 17th of December 2017.