ENUGU/Nigeria: Enugu based group, Potters Wheel Foundation has urged the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Agency (NAFDAC) to waive some requirements for new entrepreneurs in the country.
Mr Godson Onuzulike, the President of the foundation stated this on Tuesday during the training of 310 youths and women on different skill acquisition in Enugu.
Onuzulike said that huge registration fees and other requirements from NAFDAC posed a great challenge to young entrepreneurs in Enugu state.
The foundation which is a non-governmental and community based humanitarian offers free vocational and entrepreneurship training for youths and women as an antidote to the unemployment, crime and insecurity bedeviling Nigeria.
He said the registration fees and other requirements were beyond the reach of beginners who were new in their various businesses.
He alleged that many entrepreneurs in the state were being harassed and their products seized while marketing it by the NAFDAC officials.
“How can they demand for a four bedroom apartment for a beneficiary who is just starting with N37,000 registration fees?
“At times, they chase these people in the market for non-certification of products they sell to the public.
“This is a great challenge to them,’’ he said.
The president disclosed that the foundation and NAFDAC were working towards creating a centre where any entrepreneur from the foundation could make his/her product under the supervision of NAFDAC.
Onuzulike, therefore, appealed to governments, corporate organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to support them with a waiver or registration fees.
“The foundation has an open door for partnership with good spirited Nigerians and organisations to help us get millions of our youths and women into productive skill acquisition so as to enable us reduce unemployment, poverty, crime and insecurity,’’ he said.
The president stated that different entrepreneurial skill and training the foundation offered youths and women in the state could boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Enugu State.
Onuzulike said the foundation had trained many youths and women across FCT, Ekiti and Enugu States on how to make cakes, meat pie, doughnut, samosa, spring roll, chin-chin, peanut, scotch egg, bread and cookies.
Others, he said, were alcohol based hand sanitizers, antibacterial hand wash, car wash, liquid soap, body wash, tile wash, toilet wash, insecticide, rodenticide, carrot oil, coconut oil and many others.
“The state with over 4 million people and one tablet soap which can serve for a week cost N100, it will be transacting N400 million a week and total of N1.2 billion a month.
“With this simple analysis, the state will be transform in few years to come if the government and individuals in can key in into the programme.
“The South-East produced only 30 per cent of these products while 70 per cent are produced from Lagos and Abuja and if we start producing 70 per cent here, many youths and women in the state will be empowered,’’ Onuzulike said.
He added that in the next five years, cottage industries would be everywhere in the state where youths and women make the economy of Enugu state robust if the foundation were supported.
“The result of this will skyrocket the GDP of the state and people will be coming from different states to buy things.
“Nigeria youths are not lazy, they just need to be guided, spur into action and they would start making things to happen economically,’’ he noted.
The president stressed that their products were not different from those from the multinational companies as they buy chemical from the same market.
A participant, Ngozika Egwuatu described the programme as a very good initiative which would help them to become their own boss and independent.
She thanked the convener for organising such programme to lift people out of idleness adding, “in the society where it is difficult to give and someone is giving idea free is just marvelous.’’
Another beneficiary, Victoria Nnaji, said the training was an eye opener to her as she has learnt many things she did not know before.