$4trn Global Halal Trade inherent with $170bn Investment Openings, Offers Nigeria Respite in Enforcing Standards, Market Access

With a competent and transparent global supervisory mechanism – the Halal certificate - the $4 trillion global Halal trade offers Nigeria and Africa a regulatory respite, and dependable access to European markets.

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Agricultural commodities exporters and other stakeholders in the sector have bemoaned the continuous rejection on some of the country’s agro produce, and they blame Nigeria’s regulatory agencies for this.

Just recently, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) disclosed that over 76 per cent of the country’s commodities are often rejected by the EU for not meeting required standards.

Beans, sesame seeds, melon seeds, dried fish, dried meat, peanut ships, groundnut, palm oil and yam from Nigeria were in the past banned by the European Union (EU) for not meeting required standard, plus the claim that they constitute danger to human health because of high level of pesticide.

Early in 2021, the Director General of the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe disclosed in Abuja that the country loses about $362.5m yearly in terms of foreign exchange to the ban on exportation of dried beans in the last eight years.

With a competent and transparent global supervisory mechanism – the Halal certificate – the $4 trillion global Halal trade offers Nigeria and Africa a regulatory respite, and to gain dependable access for its agricultural export to European markets.

Halal is Arabic for permissible. Halal trade is trade in food or goods or service in relation to the food or goods used in the course of business in accordance with Islamic principles and values which permit the Muslim faithful to consume or use such food or goods or service.

The Halal certificate is a document that guarantees that products and services aimed at the Muslim consumer population meet the requirements of Islamic law and therefore are suitable for consumption in both Muslim-majority countries and in Western countries where there are significant population groups who practice Islam (France, Germany, United Kingdom, and Spain).

Halal certification is a process which ensures the features and quality of the products according to the rules established by the Islamic Council that allow the use of the mark Halal.

Simply put, Halal is about meat, and about food and drink products in general. It is a whole ecosystem of ethical values that are common to businesses and societies. It’s making sure you eat healthy, clean, non-toxic products, and that you are not having a lifestyle that is going to harm you.  It is mainly applied to meat products and other food products such as milk, canned food and additives.

Specifically, for meat products Halal certifies that the animals were slaughtered in a single cut, thoroughly bled, and their meat have not been in contact with animals slaughtered otherwise and especially with pork.

Islam is the fastest growing religion globally, and the Muslim population is the second largest worldwide with around 2 billion people. Now this is a market not to ignore.

Very recently, organizers of the International Halal Expo, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), identified investment openings, for Nigeria, in the region of $170 billion in the $4 trillion global Halal trade.

The president, ACCI, Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, said investments would target Nigeria’s cosmetic, pharmaceutical and tourism sectors. Nigeria is currently doing about $50 billion worth of trade in the Halal industry.

According to Dr. Abubakar, the Halal business also covers all assets of commerce, agricultural produce for export, banking, production where Nigerian companies can take advantage of to forge new businesses.

“Most importantly, the products must have the Halal certification. Halal is a very wonderful platform to help promote export especially for our agricultural exporters and manufacturers,” he said.

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