In compliance with the Executive order on the ease of doing
business as well as a proactive response to the challenges of COVID-19
pandemic. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC)
has instituted palliatives for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in
Nigeria via a reduction in registration fees, and assisted e-registration
through NAFDAC Automated Product Administration and Monitoring System (NAPAMS).
The MSMEs’ palliative programme would run concurrently in the six geopolitical
zones including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Lagos State. 

The palliative includes:

1) Zero
tariffs for the first 200 micro and small companies to register their products
from 15th May, 2020.

2) 80
percent reduction in tariffs for the registration of micro and small enterprise
products for three months.

3) Waivers
on administrative charges for the late renewal of expired licenses for products
of micro and small businesses.

These current
NAFDAC palliatives presents a lot of opportunities for MSMEs in Nigeria and they
include the following:

Opportunity to Grow and Scale

The
heart desire of every entrepreneur is to grow and scale his/her business. In
Nigeria particularly, the marketplace is flooded with all kinds of products
that potentially fail or stagnate within a short while because they are not registered.
This is because the final consumer struggles to accept these unregistered
products as an option.

Building a Brand

There is
nothing that differentiates a product like an established brand and the first
step to becoming a brand is to own your brand name by registering it. Every business
name is built on certain values and qualities that customers can identify with
and no unregistered business can ever become a brand.

Access
to Grants and loans

Business
success is achieved through the effective combination of both human and
material resources. To get these resources you require funds or money
especially at the startup phase. To access grants and loans from Government or financing
institutions one of the basic requirements is that your product has to be
registered.

Legal
protection

It pains
to see a product you developed with blood and sweat stolen just because there
was no legal protection.

Ground
for Negotiations

The new game
in the business world now is collaboration not competition. Any entrepreneur
with an unregistered product is weak at the negotiation table no matter the
number of years the product has been in the market. This is because there is no
verifiable traction.

Access to Global Market

The
world has become a global village and the borders are no longer a barrier to
businesses. However, if your business or product is unregistered it will struggle
locally and cannot be sold internationally. The international market helps you
earn in foreign currency and this gives you leverage for expansion.

Finally,
the odds stacked against business-minded entrepreneurs are maneuvered through
maximum utilization of opportunities as they occur. This is one opportunity business
owners should maximize especially in a post COVID-19 world.