Halal industry strategic to overall Nigeria economic development –President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Al-Mujtaba
Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar
By Anthony Maliki
The President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar has said that Halal Industry though at its infancy stage in Nigeria, it is strategic to the overall economic development of the country.
Dr. Abubakar in his opening speech at the maiden edition of Halal Expo Nigeria 2021 with the theme, “Understanding the Nigeria Halal Market” organised by the Chamber said, unfortunately, not many Nigerians are aware of the economic opportunities embedded in it.
This was contained in a statement to Apex News Exclusive by Media/Strategy Officer, ACCI, Olayemi John-Mensah.
“It is my hope that the outcome of this event will increase the awareness of Halal business activities amongst the business community and ultimately trigger accelerated participation of investors through trade promotions, Expos, B2B, B2G, G2G and conferences.
“It is also my hope that all the efforts being made by ACCI in collaboration with its partners toward strengthening Halal activities in Nigeria will translate to economic benefits for participants both in Nigeria and beyond.”
The President said the Expo rides on four cardinal pillars; firstly, to create awareness about the Halal industry sub-sector in Nigeria, secondly, to harmonize and galvanize Halal registration and registration process into a one-stop shop for ease of accessibility and: availability by business people interested in investing in the Halal industry, thirdly, to escalate the investment opportunities inherent in Halal industry which investors can optimize and fourthly, to expand Nigeria’s outlook in the Halal market, globally.
The Director General ACCI, Victoria Akai said we believe that we have commenced an event that will bring unique and significant contribution to business in Nigeria while hoping that this initiative of ACCI will; Increase Nigeria’s presence in the Global Halal Eco system, increase and create awareness about the Halal Industry in Nigeria, and in Africa, harmonize all the various Halal certification bodies into one government recognized institution and enhance better synergy with other regulatory bodies, and to increase investment opportunities between Nigeria and the other global Halal players.
“We also believe that we must also leverage the Halal business economy in the bid to; Hasten post pandemic recovery from the COVID-19. Contribute to the success of Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), contribute to the development of non-oil exports in Nigeria and Provide employment by wooing the establishment of Halal industries, especially in the Muslim regions amongst other benefits.
The DG used the forum to officially invites participants at the Halal Expo to the 16th Abuja International Trade Fair starting on the 30th of September through to the 9th of October 2021, themed exploring the opportunities of AfCFTA.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba at the event called for establishment of world-class Halal Trade/Marketing Centre to enhance local producers’ access to the multi-billion-naira trade.
Adesugba who made the call in his presentation at the Halal Expo expressed NEPZA readiness to partner with the ACCI to set up the Centre which will be devoted to developing the Halal economy ecosystem.
“The Centre will dwell on market intelligence, halal compliance, and growth support services. It will be the first of its kind in Africa and it will spur Nigeria’s leading role in the African halal market.”
The Managing Director of Taj Bank, Norfadalizan Abdulrahman in his remarks said Islamic finance would be an enabler to Halal economy and also help the country explore, process and export goods and services to over 42 Halal countries.
He stated that there was need for synergy while stressing that the non-interest Islamic finance bodies have already formed an association and could be a gateway for halal economy in Nigeria.
Also, the International President, Business and Professional Women (BPW) and President, Egyptian Business Women Association (EBWA) Dr. Asfour Armani, said Africa’s growing consumer population remained a plus for Halal economy on the continent.
Dr. Armani said it is important that we link our businesses together, that we make sure Africans, come together and know about ourselves adding that it is very important to understand that we need to have our own machines that we can work with.
Halal, an Arabic word meaning permissible, according to Islamic Sharia law, refer to both goods and services acceptable to Muslims.
Halal business concept is valued about three-billion-dollar Islamic business model that focusses on opportunities for manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors of specialized food, products and services used by over two billion Islamic and non-Islamic faithful around the world.
Most of the stakeholders, that participated at the Expo noted that the country could significantly kickstart industrial development through the market, considering the nation’s consumer population.
The three-day event ended today with a stakeholders meeting looking into how to leverage on the industry for economy advancement.