GOVERNMENT Policy and activities of regulatory bodies, particularly the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration Control, NAFDAC have been identified as major hinderances for the growth of small scale businesses in Nigeria.
A cross section of entrepreneurs said, the policy for registration and requirements for certification of healthy products developed from natural ingredients through creativity and packaging, is killing and discouraging.
Initiator of One Community One Industry Initiative, Victoria Oluwaseun in an interview said, NAFDAC and regulatory agencies are comfortable seeing product developed from healthy natural materials remain as it was, but once you decide to introduce ingenuity and package, you become the target.
According to her, so many people, particularly in local communities have no capacity for the strict registration policy because they start their businesses with little or nothing out of creativity, saying, asking for such individuals to register with a huge sum of money would automatically discourage the business.
“We have had black soap, coconut oil, locust beans and so many others being produced for a very long time, but the impression has been that everything about it is fetish, without known that it is very healthy than the chemically-oriented soap and cosmetics we use these days.
“With the fact that it has been in existence for long and being sold in our market with little or nothing as startups, NAFDAC had no problem with that, but those who have now decided to go a step further and repackage the same materials to make it acceptable anywhere in the world with little or nothing as startups are now targets.
“There are so many industries we can create with natural products we generate from our local communities, but how do you expect a creative person who starts with nothing to pay a huge sum and go through the stress of the registration; it is discouraging.
“The reality is that small scale businesses are major contributors to the development of our economy, but the fact is that the government policy has not allow creativity that can develop small scale business to something big to thrive”, Victoria said.
According to her, the policy has only helped the well-to-do to get more, while the less-privileged who have a lot to offer for economic development through youth empowerment are being suppressed.
The entrepreneur then tasked the Federal Government and the National Assembly to review some of these policies to accommodate the less-privileged, instead of killing their morale to help the economy and impact lives.
A journalist, Tunde Bolatito also joined in the clamour saying, it is the inability of the less-privileged youths to meet up with some of these requirements that forced many of them into venture like armed robbery, kidnapping and other vices.
According to him, “What we heard many of the youth saying when arrested for crimes like armed robbery and some others is that they have no job and policies are some of the contributors. There are youth who have something to offer, but they have no financial capacity to actualize it.
“The regulatory agencies must look into this and review their policies and laws, if truly the government is interested in the growth of small scale businesses.
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