FG Inaugurates Technical Committee On Halal Certification In Nigeria



 The Federal Government has inaugurated a 14 man Technical Committee on the Development of a Roadmap and Operational Framework for Halal Certification in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum  officially inaugurated the technical Committee  in Abuja.

Amb. Katagum  noted that “There is clearly an increasing demand for Halal certified products globally, especially, amongst the large Muslim population in the Middle East, North Africa, South Africa, South Asia, the former Soviet Union and China, which presents a lucrative chain for the food market. As at today, the global consumer base of Halal products is estimated to be about 1.9 billion Muslims across 112 countries, and the Halal market is estimated to be worth trillions of US Dollars.

“And Nigeria’s Muslim population is estimated at about 52% of the nation’s population and adherents of Islam are usually selective in making Halal choices when it comes to lifestyle and product consumptions. Aside from the Islamic population, there is a huge number of people around the world that also prefer to consume Halal products based on healthy lifestyle choices”. 

The Minister  further explained that, countries around the world have made it easier for such consumers to make easy selections at supermarkets, shops etc and Nigeria should not be left out. 

She added that ” Halal market is a huge and profitable segment of the economy and  cannot afford to  ignore the importance of assuring our local and international consumers that our food and beverage products are Halal certified and comply with Islamic Law. Such certifications would give Nigeria products a boost in local and international markets. 

Also, Halal certification significantly enhances the marketability of products outside the country and the document is an important requirement on importing countries”. 

The Minister acknowledged that the Halal concept is at its embryonic stage in Nigeria and has largely been uncoordinated, with lack of synergy between relevant institutions and the  situation has led to absence of uniformity in instituting Halal standards in the country, as well as the inability of Nigeria to tap into the Halal global market. 

She also  noted that there is huge potential in the Halal sub-sector with the global Halal market estimated to be about 2.6  trillion US  dollars  and countries like Morocco  and Malaysia are already benefiting from the Halal economy with Morocco exporting to over  23 countries and Malaysia earning about $7 billion in exports.

She pointed out  that Nigeria  has not been able to take advantage of the huge market  to boost foreign  earnings,increase investment and adopt the concept to contribute  to the growth and development  of the economy, hence the  Ministry proactively decided to establish a committee  to address the issue by studying the various models being used by other successful countries  and developing  a tailor-made Strategic Plan and Operational Framework for Nigeria.

The Minister of State expressed optimism  that “the success  of the committee would stimulate Investment across Nigeria’s  agricultural sector; lead to increased productivity; chart  a sustainable  course towards food security; generate employment and create wealth for the Nation and its people”.

The Minister  disclosed that members of the Technical Committee  were carefully selected from key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Organized Private Sector (OPS) involved in the Halal Value-chain and  is being chaired by Mr. Nour Sani Hanga from Halal Standard Development  Trust (HASDAT) and co- chaired  by the Director Commodity  and Export Department  in the Ministry, Mr. Suleman Adebayo Audu.

Amb.Katagum  therefore  urged members of the technical committee  to diligently carry out their assignments with integrity and transparency  so as to deliver suitable recommendations  that would drive the policy thrust to strengthen  Nigeria’s  Halal sector and make Nigeria a hub for Halal products in Africa and around the world.

The Terms of Reference  to guide the work of the Technical Committee  included to develop a workplace for the Technical Committee; develop the operational and strategic  framework for Nigeria’s Halal certification process;identify all existing Halal certification  bodies and ensure uniformity in their modus operandi; identify international Linkages and partnerships for the development  of the Nigerian Halal industry; develop advocacy and Sensitization strategies for the Halal industry in Nigeria; advise on how to ensure and promote collaboration and synergy among stakeholders in both the public and private sectors on Halal;  and  to consider any other matter that will develop and promote Halal in Nigeria. 

Earlier in her opening remarks,  the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Evelyn N. Ngige  who was ably represented by the Director, Commodity and Export Department  in the Ministry, Mr. Suleman  Adebayo Audu  stated that the inauguration  of the Technical Committee  signified the Ministry’s  commitment towards ensuring that Nigeria benefits from the Halal Industry which is in line with the economic diversification  agenda  of the present administration  to develop the non-oil sector.

The Permanent Secretary  expressed the Ministry’s commitment  towards  providing relevant support required in ensuring that the national  assignment given to  the  Committee is accomplished without hindrance.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Nour S. Hanga in his response on behalf of other members  thanked the Ministry for taking the lead in the effort to develop a robust Halal industry in Nigeria.

He added that with the crop of professionals  in the Committee coupled with the expected necessary  support from the Ministry,  the Committee would deliver on its mandates.


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