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.
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.