Appropriate leveraging of the upcoming International Halal Expo by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) will lead to FDI inflows of about $150 billion investment to Nigeria from the Middle East via Halal industry. Halal is an Arabic word meaning permissible according to Islamic Sharia law, and can refer to both goods and services acceptable to Muslims.
Scheduled to hold on the 14th to 16th of September, 2021 in Abuja, the president, ACCI, Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, at a virtual press conference to announce the expo, said the expo would also attract over $150 billion investment from the Middle East countries to Nigeria.
According to him, the investment would target Nigeria’s cosmetic, pharmaceutical and tourism sectors, adding that the expo would also serve as a launchpad to attract new businesses for Nigeria and Africa at large.
He said globally, the Halal business is worth over $4 trillion, saying that Nigeria is currently doing about $50 billion worth of trade in the Halal industry.
He added: “We have been working on the expo for the past four months as plans are ongoing as we are giving it all it takes for the expo to succeed.”
According to him, the Halal business also covers all assets of commerce, banking, production where Nigerian companies can take advantage of to forge new businesses.
The event, which is jointly organised by the Abuja Trade Centre (ATC), has so far attracted interest from different countries in Africa and the Middle East.
“We are already in touch with so many organisations in Taiwan, Malaysia, Jordan, Morocco and Algeria. Going forward, we are going to be having this expo on a yearly basis and would be championed as part of our activities,” he said.
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Abuja Trade Centre (ATC), Jude Chime, said the $50 billion trade by Nigerian companies are mainly in the beverage and food industry, calling on Nigerian businesses to leverage the opportunities the platform provides.
“We will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand the frontiers of trade in the Halal industry. We are targeting the tourism, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. Nigeria is going to benefit a lot from this expo investment-wise,” he said.
He pointed out that a lot of foreign companies in the Middle East are seeking ways to enter the Nigerian market, not just to bring in their products, but also expanding their manufacturing activities in the country.
He said the expo would also give Nigerian exporters the opportunity to break even into the Middle East markets through the Halal certification.
Reacting to the rejection of Nigerian goods at the international market, he said the MoU would go a long way in increasing the level of acceptability of Nigerian products,
Most importantly, the products must have Halal certification. It is a very wonderful platform to help promote export especially for our exporters and manufacturers,” he said
The first Deputy president, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dele Oye, said the Halal expo is about promoting trade and investments taking cognisance of religion to reach a wider market.
He urged members of the business community to take advantage of the opportunity while also restating NACCIMA’s commitment to supporting the expo.
The current Chairman, Halal Certification Authority, Dr. Ibrahim Oreagba, said Halal fair is about promoting products that are permissible and wholesome for food safety and quality.
“We are excited about this fair because it will be promoting Halal certified products and it is important we understand the concept of Halal which means permissible. It simply means you are participating in Allah’s activities of eating what is clean to promote good health,” he said.