The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has described the decision to reduce the cost of NAFDAC registration for Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) by 80% for the next 6 months, as a strategic move to encourage the search for local therapy for coronavirus, as well as boost small businesses in the post-COVID-19 era.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said the fact that the concession covered registration for food, drugs and other consumables speaks to the preparedness of the Buhari administration to respond to the challenges thrown up by the pandemic.
“We see it in the light of President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire to provide opportunities for Nigerians at all levels to participate in the medical and commercial revolution Covid-19 will inevitably usher in.
“It is also important to note that NAFDAC has also introduced what can be called palliatives for small businesses; including zero tariffs for the first 200 companies to register on its automated e-registration platform, as well as a waiver on administrative charges for overdue/late renewal of expired licences for a period of 90 days.
“All these are in recognition of current economic challenges in the aftermath of a pandemic that is causing global chaos and the need to energize the local economy at a time like this.
“It is also a reflection of the administration’s commitment to supporting MSMEs and the informal sector which have for years been the engine room for the nation’s economic development.
“And we invite Nigerians to note that because it is an automated platform, small business owners across the country have the opportunity to sign up from the comfort of their homes or offices.
“it is a good incentive for alternative medicine practitioners, especially the unlicensed and upcoming ones, to submit their samples to NAFDAC as well. We hope the outcome of this policy will impact the quantum of shelf medications available to Nigerians at a time of the global race for a remedy for the pandemic”.
BMO, however, noted that this is not the first initiative by the government and some of its agencies to protect as well as stimulate local businesses.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced a N3.5tn stimulus package for businesses impacted negatively by the pandemic. This is inclusive of the N50bn Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) rolled out to support households and small businesses, and for which over 3,000 Nigerians are beneficiaries of the first batch after meeting the necessary criteria.
“In addition to this is the N100bn intervention in healthcare loans to pharmaceutical companies and healthcare practitioners intending to expand/build capacity and the provision of N1tn in loans to boost local manufacturing and production capacity. There is also the N1.5tn infrastructure fund”
The group also expressed a conviction that the Buhari administration will introduce more packages, concessions and incentives to boost the local economy in the post-coronavirus era.