Stories by James Emejo in Abuja
The President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Mr. Adetokunbo Kayode, has urged the country to take advantage of the over $3 trillion global Halal economy, describing it as another way of opening doors of economic opportunities.
He said Halal, which is built around the Sharia Islamic principles of free interest economy covers virtually all aspects of the economy including halal food, clothing, body care products as well as halal finance among others.
Specifically, he noted that Halal finance offers businesses solace amidst the current high interest rate charges by commercial banks.
Speaking at a media briefing on the maiden Halal Expo Nigeria 2020 which is slated to hold between June 8 -10 in Abuja, and organised by the chamber, Kayode said it provides an opportunity to address poverty in the country.
He said: “So our decision at the Abuja trade center and the ACCI is to ensure that everywhere we can get prosperity we must take it. Every opportunity that we can create for this country to prosper for our people to get out of poverty and for empowerment we must take it.
“And it is even good that we are doing something that is permitted, something that is good. This is why we made the decision to organise the first ever Halal expo in Nigeria and by the grace of God, we will be organising this halal Expo every year beginning from 2020.”
He said this year’s exhibition, as well as subsequent trade exhibitions within the year had also been designed to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th anniversary, adding that halal was the future for the country’s development.
The ACCI president said: “I find it interesting that halal finance which is non-interest finance. It is very interesting and I believe that all things being equal, this is the way for the future so that the bankers and finance institutions will invest in your business and not in you.”
He said: “If they invest in your business and they share in your profits and loss, then, it would be easier for them to give you credit on reasonable terms: terms that would not kill you or kill your business because if your business prospers, then they’ll be profit and they would gain but if somebody gives you loan in a way that kills your business like our commercial banks…if somebody charges you 25 per cent interest and takes 25 per cent of your money, may be government takes another 25 per cent, then the business fails.”
Also speaking at the occasion, Chairman, Halal Certification Authority, Prof. Ibrahim Oreagba said: “When you talk about halal, you are not only saying it is permissible based on Sharia, you are also saying that the product is hygienic and wholesome and that means there must be additional quality assurance.
“We also have halal certification apart from NAFDAC and SON certification and that is why non Muslims are also very much interested in halal because it gives them that assurance and guarantee that the products which they are consuming are safe and of good quality.”