Nigerian small scale business entrepreneurs involved in the production and processing of locally made and indigenous foods, herbal medicines and beauty products have bemoaned the unfavourable market conditions and difficulties in getting their businesses registered with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), capped by the multiple taxes imposed on their businesses which they described as hindrances to gainful productivity.
The business owners divulged their challenges during a trade fair/exhibition of a collection of locally produced food items produced by Nigerian small scale entrepreneurs held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
According to the indigenous entrepreneurs, the processes involved in getting NAFDAC registration is stressful and expensive considering the fact that most of them are startups still struggling to make an impact in the market.
Amina Sani of Minaj Company which produces ginger tea and other related products, stated that getting her NAFDAC registration was a big challenge for her firm and it affected her sales. She explained that most Nigerians patronise more imported drugs and products compared to the locally produced ones and would always demand for NAFDAC registration before they even consider buying made-in-Nigeria products.
Stella Iwuagu, executive director of Sustainable Demonstration Farms noted that Nigerians were unaware of the benefits of foods and herbal medicines produced from local plants and often complained that they are too expensive compared to the foreign products which are produced at lesser costs.
Olusegun Runsewe, director general, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC),enjoined Nigerians to emulate the Chinese in prioritising locally made products and foods. This, he said, would offer more job opportunities and contribute immensely to economic development.
Runsewe pledged intervention on the NAFDAC registration challenges and supported some of the entrepreneurs by offering them shops rent-free for a year at the Arts and Gallery village in Abuja.
The entrepreneurs appealed to the federal government to establish markets across the country for made in Nigeria products and exempt them from multiple taxes to enable small businesses thrive in a highly competitive market.