Non-oil export sectors provide immense opportunities for the growth of the global Halal market and are one area Nigeria can leverage and tap into to diversify its economy. Mr. Jude Chime the Executive Director, Trade and Investment, Abuja Chamber of Commerce, and Industry made this point while discussing various aspects of the growing global halal market.
Considering the disruption of the global supply chain by the COVID 19 pandemic, which has adversely affected the revenue base of countries like Nigeria that are heavily dependent on crude oil.
He was of the view that the current prevailing crisis was an opportunity for Nigeria to give priority to the diversification of the nation’s revenue through the Non-Oil export products.
According to him the Halal market value chain from clothing, food, hospitality, tourism amongst others was a pathway for supporting Nigeria’s drive to revenue diversification.
Speaking further he noted that the Halal Industry had a projected growth size of about $3trn in 2020 which will be affected by the impact of COVID-19, but had great prospects considering the fact that in 54 countries 40% of the population were Muslims.
Providing additional perspective on why Nigeria should invest in the Halal market, he said if China, Brazil, and Malaysia can position themselves as Halal Market hubs, then Nigeria can learn and take and become a leader in AfricaInvesting in the halal market, we have the population and the resources to compete with the market. if Nigeria can have halal market well-monitored which will also improve the lifespan of people in terms of what we consume, our health, and modesty in terms of fashion, it will be a great market for Nigeria to tap intoâ€ He said.
Speaking on additional opportunities that the country can unlock in the Halal market, he identified agriculture as one sector that can boost the non-oil export products, especially the Halal Beef which Kano State is already venturing into.
The Executive Director for Trade and Commerce for the ACCI cited tourism sites like the Maidugri Zoo park, Borno state, and other heritage sites in Yobe state as places that can benefit from Halal tourism.
On the role ACCI is playing to promote the halal industry and the ecosystem in Nigeria, he noted that there has been massive advocacy and awareness on the market and its economic prospects in the country.
He asserted that the forthcoming exhibition by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry will bring a whole lot of Halal investors to look into the Nigerian market. Also, ACCI is working on the investment aspect of the halal market, also, the arbitration center.
In terms of partnerships to promote the Halal industry, he listed some of the countries that have been engaged which include; India, Morrocco, Cotedvoire, Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia, the D8 group, and several other developing countries.
For Islamic finance Institutions in Nigeria, he stressed that the approach to the halal industry post-pandemic should be that of understanding the market which will lead to its expansion.
He harped on the need for strategic funding to support the growth and scaling of SMEs in the value chain.
On the learning points for Nigeria from developed markets like Malaysia, Chime emphasized the need for Nigeria to pay close attention to manufacturing and look inwards to develop a robust market that can compete globally, embrace collaboration, empower SMEs, harmonize policies and drive exports.
He challenged Nigeria to set a strategic pathway for the Halal market which can achieve great strides like that of Malaysia which is doing over $5.8b for halal food annually. Chime also called on Islamic. He urged the institution to come together in order to promote this industry.
Looking at the projections he said for Nigeria it will be low in 2020 because the industry has not commenced fully. For 2021 he was optimistic that the Halal market will regain momentum and increased economic activities by Q2,2021.