As part of the efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country, the Federal Government yesterday ordered the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) to reduce the products registration period by 30 days.
Currently, it takes 90 days to register products with the NAFDAC.
With the new directive, henceforth the registration should not be more than 60 days.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday at the NAFDAC stakeholders’ consultative forum on the ease of doing business in Nigeria, the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, said this would encourage business owners.
The Vice-President, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Fola Johnson, said a shorter period of 60 days was possible.
He, therefore, charged the NAFDAC to speed up its process of registration as this was one of the best ways to encourage small businesses.
He said: “A period of 60 days is possible. Collectively, let us put our house in order. Let MSMEs, NAFDAC and the Federal Government target 60 days. The shorter the time for registration, the better for MSMEs. To collect a registration number should not take months. When will you start the business? When will you start making profits?
“Any MSME that employs a person today is doing the Federal Government a huge favour. What the Federal Government is supposed to do is create an enabling environment.
“It is the private sector that drives the economy, so we must encourage every activity that drives that space,” he said.
In his reaction, the acting Director-General of the NAFDAC, Mr. Ademola Mogbojuri, said the agency had reduced its registration period from a maximum of one year to a minimum of 90 days.
He, however, said “efforts would be made to ensure that it is brought down to between a month and 60 days, especially for small businesses”.
On other measures taken to encourage small businesses, Mogbojuri, who was represented by Mr. Abubakar Jimoh, Director, Strategy, said the agency had recently slashed by 50 per cent the cost of registration for companies with less than five employees.
He said: “In order to encourage MSMEs, the NAFDAC has guaranteed a 50 per cent reduction in cost of registration of products for companies with five or less than five employees.
“We’ve also reduced the registration time to 90 days and established a small business support desk to guide small businesses through the registration process and serve as an enquiry point for small businesses on regulatory issues.
“NAFDAC has set up a system for the electronic submission of documents to line directorates to reduce the time taken for hard copies to get to such directorates in Lagos,” he noted.
Magbojuri hinted that the NAFDAC would ensure that bread registration is done within 30 days, while the fees charged for registration of locally manufactured products are lower than those charged for imported products.