For the Halal Industry to thrive in Nigeria and contribute to the nation’s economic development, a robust regulatory framework is required. “If Halal is to work perfectly in Nigeria, the country must have a regulatory agency. Without having an institutionalized body Halal will not work. The government needs to look at Halal holistically to develop it as a valuable product to be exported to other countries” he said.
Mr. Ramlan Osman the Founder/CEO of Vietnam Halal Centre made this point while discussing the opportunities for expanding the halal market in Nigeria.
Speaking further he said Halal hinges on integrity, quality of food supply, safety, and trust. The industry player cited Malaysia as an example of a nation that has created a Halal Development Agency, HIDA, that has led to its growth and adoption across the nation.
He believed it was time to look at Halal beyond religion as there are 1.8bn Muslims in the world, and people are venturing into it as a quality product.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the need for the Muslim and Halal communities to step up particularly in the area of food security.
On the major challenges facing the growth of the Halal Market at the global level, he noted the absence of uniformity in Halal practice amongst the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). He called for cooperation amongst the OIC member states on promoting the values of Halal.
The founder of the Vietnam Halal center also identified key areas to explore in deepening the Halal industry globally especially through agriculture and manufacturing.
He called on Nigeria to give top priority to strengthening the Halal ecosystem and improving its standardization process to achieve the position of a highly competitive market. He added that there is a need for more ventures to invest in Halal-based start-ups.
On how Africa could leverage the Halal Market to boost its regional economy, the finance expert called for concerted steps to leverage the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to boost the industry and provide immense opportunities for farmers in the agriculture sector.
He added “The Nigerian government should learn from Indonesia and Malaysia and provide support to start-ups and millennials, giving them new opportunities that will address unemployment and tackle poverty. I advised young Muslim millennials to venture into the Halal economy”.
Giving an outlook for the global Halal Industry amidst the uncertainties posed by the pandemic, the traction of getting Halal Commercialization will be big as most countries in Europe are looking into the food segment.
He was optimistic that the future for Halal food and the entire ecosystem would get better with Indonesia looking for a COVID-19 Halal vaccine.
Osman was optimistic that countries like Russia, U.S.A, India, and Nigeria are in a position to benefit immensely from the Halal market.
Detailed interview on the following URL