What are the functions of support agencies in small and medium scale industrial development in Nigeria?
Some supportive agencies are established by the government at all levels to facilitate the promotion of entrepreneurship in Nigeria. These agencies are established to cope with the dynamics of the economy at a particular time. Their basic functions can be discussed under these roles.
The agencies in this category aid in providing goods and services which are best produced by the government. They provide goods and services that are highly subsidized or goods produced below the average cost. The services provided by these agencies are essentially to encourage entrepreneurship. Examples are FERMA, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, public corporations such as PHCN, NEMA, FAAN etc.
These are agencies established for regulating business. They are involved in inspection of facilities, laboratory test of products, approval of facilities and product etc. They include the following:
- Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON)
- National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
- National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
- Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA)
- State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).
Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON)
The statutory functions of Standards Organisation of Nigeria by section 3, subsections (1) of 1971 Act No. 56 are as follows:
(a) To organize test and do everything necessary to ensure compliance with standards designated and approved by the Council;
(b) To undertake investigations as necessary into the quality of facilities, materials and products in Nigeria, and establish a quality assurance system including certification of factories, products and laboratories;
(c) To ensure reference standards for calibration and verification of measures and measuring instrument.
(d) To compile an inventory of products requiring standardization;
(e) To compile Nigeria Industrial Standards;
(f) To foster interest in the recommendation and maintenance of acceptable standards by industry and the general public;
(g) To develop method for testing of materials, supplies and equipment including items purchased for use of departments Government of the Federation or State and Private establishment;
(h) Register and regulate standard marks and specification;
(i) To undertake preparation and distribution of standard samples;
(j) To establish and maintain such number of Laboratories or other institutions as may be necessary for the performance of its functions under this Act;
(k) To compile and publish general scientific or other data:
(i) Resulting from performance of its function under this Act, or
(ii) From other sources when such data are of importance to scientific or manufacturing interest or to the general public and are not available
(l) To advise departments of government of the Federation or state on specific problems relating to standards;
(m) To sponsor such national and International conferences as it may consider appropriate;
(n) To co-ordinate all activities relative to its functions throughout Nigeria and to co-operate with corresponding national or international organizations in such fields of activity as it considers necessary with a view to securing uniformity in standards specifications and
(o) To undertake any other activity likely to assist in the performance of the functions imposed on it under this Act;
(p) Organisation shall undertake such research as may be necessary for the performance of its functions under this Act. And for that purpose it shall have power to make use of research facilities, whether public or private upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between the organization and the institution concerned.
National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control
Functions of the Agency The Agency shall have the following functions, that is, to—
(a) regulate and control the importation, exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals;
(b) conduct appropriate tests and ensure compliance with standard specifications designated and approved by the Council for the effective control of the quality of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals and their raw materials as well as their production processes in factories and other establishments;
(c) undertake appropriate investigations into the production premises and raw materials for food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals and establish relevant quality assurance systems, including certificates of the production sites and of the regulated products;
(d) undertake inspection of imported food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals and establish relevant quality assurance systems, including certification of the production sites and of the regulated products;
(e) compile standard specifications and guidelines for the production, importation, exportation, sale and distribution of food, drug, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals;
(f) undertake the registration of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals;
(g) control the exportation and issue quality certification of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals intended for export;
(h) establish and maintain relevant laboratories or other institutions in strategic areas of Nigeria as may be necessary for the performance of its functions under this Act;
(i) pronounce on the quality and safety of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals after appropriate analysis;
(j) undertake measures to ensure that the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are limited to medical and scientific purposes;
(k) grant authorisation for the import and export of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as well as other controlled substances;
(l) collaborate with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in measures to eradicate drug abuse in Nigeria;
(m) advise Federal, State and local governments, the private sector and other interested bodies regarding the quality, safety, and regulatory provisions on food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals;
(n) undertake and co-ordinate research programmes on the storage, adulteration, distribution and rational use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals;
(o) issue guidelines on, approve and monitor the advertisement of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals;
(p) compile and publish relevant data resulting from the performance of the functions of the Agency under this Act or from other sources;
(q) sponsor such national and international conferences as it may consider appropriate;
(r) liaise with relevant establishments within and outside Nigeria in pursuance of the functions of the Agency;
(s) Determine the suitability or otherwise of medicines, drugs, food products, cosmetics, medical devices or chemicals for human and animal use; and [1999 No. 19.]
(t) Carry out such activities as are necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions under this Act.
These are agencies set up to facilitate the establishment and successful existence of small scale industries. They are saddled with the responsibility of ensuring conducive environment for SMEs. Their function may include specialized fund for SMEs or otherwise. In this category we have such institutions as:
- The Industrial Training Fund (ITF)
- Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO)
- Bank of Industry (BOI)
- The Industrial Development Centre (IDC)
- Universities and Polytechnics
- Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC)
- The National Directorate of Employment (NDE)
- National Poverty Eradication Programme. (NAPEP)
- Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)
Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC)
The statutory roles of the Nigerian Export promotion Council are:
- To promote the development and diversification of Nigerian’s export trade.
- To assist in promoting the development of export related industries in Nigeria.
- To spearhead the creation of appropriate export incentives.
- To actively articulate and promote the implementation of export polices and programs of the Nigerian Government.
- Trade Information Service
- Products and Market Development
- Administration of export and Incentives
- Human Resources Training and Development on exports
- Coordination and co-operation with multi-lateral Institution: such as International Trade Center (ITC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank etc.
In addition, other activities of the Council include:
- Working closely with foreign missions in Nigeria and this resulted in getting training programmes and sponsorship of the staff of the Council.
- Market research /survey to establish demand and protocol.
- Receiving and responding to trade enquiries
- Follow up on orders generated by exporters through the Council during Trade Fairs/Mission.
- Market adaptation through product development.
- Registration of Nigerian Exporters
- Collection and dissemination of information on products and market available for export.
- Provision of market entry support services
- Administration of export incentives
- Organize and plan the participations of Nigeria in international trade fairs and exhibitions in other countries
- Plan and organize outward trade missions.
- Dissemination of both domestic and international commodities prices.
- Publication and servicing of trade enquiries and opportunities from within and abroad.
Government has also established some industrial association to foster industrial harmony. These associations were created by law or decree at different times.
- The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN)
- The National Association of Small Scale industrialists (NASSI)
- The Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA).
- The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
Federal Government especially is in collaboration with some international bodies to promote small and medium scale industries, Just as they do in other sectors, their functions cover funding, research and development etc. these bodies
- The World Bank
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO)
- African Development Bank (ADB).