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Monday, November 13, 2017

How Nigeria can benefit from Global Halal Industry and diversify its Economy away from Oil

        Halal industry can simply be described as businesses that conduct their operation in accordance with laid down ethical procedures. It is about credibility and quality control first before any other thing else. The Halal products and services comprise broad number of sectors that cut across most of the areas of modern economy. Such businesses include banking and finance, food and beverages, hotel and tourism, education, marketing and advertising, as well as manufacturing. Thus, unlike what most people think about Halal as meaning Shariah or simply things made for Muslims only, Halal is universal for all people across all religions, culture and geography. In modern marketing terminology you can described Halal products as a brand group, just like when you categories some consumer products as for Western, Asian, or Latin consumers, but still being consumed by people in Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe. Hence, the label Halal does not mean only for Muslims in Nigeria but also for Christians, Jews, and adherent of other religions living in Nigeria and Africa. Already there is vast market for these product categories. For example, most of the meat been consumed in Nigeria is Halal meat. An average Southern Christian buys his meat from a Hausa Muslim meat seller who follow Halal procedure of killing and preparing an animal for consumption. Halal means ethical, sustainable, environmentally- and socially-responsible goods and services. According to CNN's

       In Malaysia the government created what they called Halal Industry Development  Corporation charged with the responsibility of ensuring the integration and comprehensive development of their national Halal industry. It functions included focusing on the development of "halal standards, branding and promotion, and commercial development of halal products and services". It is the first of it kind in the world, established in 2006. Today many countries are following in it footsteps in order to tap the growing Halal market that was put at $2.3 Trillions. The annual grow of the Halal market around the world was estimated by World Islamic Economic Forum as 8%. In particular Dubai in UAE has gone far in this direction as it aspires to become global hub of Halal economy. Thus for those who are making noise about Islamic banking in Nigeria, but cannot restraint themselves from going to Dubai to enjoy the luxury of modern world this is a challenge for them. Because Halal does not mean for Muslims only, but humanity at large. Just like New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong welcome everyone, Dubai, Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur do the same thing despite their aspirations to become centers of the global Islamic economy. Countries such as China, UK, Thailand and South Africa are doing everything possible to become global exporters of Halal products and services such as beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, travel and tourism as well as financial services. In Europe alone it is estimated that the market is growing at the rate of 10-20%. Brunei has achieved some level of success in exporting its Halal certified products into Europe and gradually the products are getting acceptance in other parts of the world. As Nigerian government is eager to attract foreign investors into the country federal government shall include Halal industry in it strategy. It can start by creating Halal tourism industry and invite tourist from everywhere to Nigeria. There is also exportation of Halal meat as Nigeria is a big producer and consumer of animal products in Africa. We can become the 'Holland' of Halal diary and meat in the world looking at our potentials in this sector. Australia, despite not being a Muslim country, is one of the top exporters of Halal products mainly meat. Nigeria can as well export Halal meat to Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia and UAE. Brazil is another important exporter of Halal products. Singapore is one of the top destinations for Halal tourism and travels. China is important in production of Halal fashion products, while UK, France and Germany in Halal media and recreation.