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Halal Certification Would Boost Nigeria Products In International Markets – Amb. Katagum

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Ambassador Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, has said that certification of Halal would give Nigeria Products a boost in the local and international markets

The Minister stated this on Monday in Abuja when she inaugurated a 14-man technical committee on the development of a roadmap and operational framework for Halal certification in Nigeria.

Amb. Katagum, said that at the moment the global consumer base of Halal products is estimated to be about 1.9 billion Muslims across 112 countries, and that the Halal market is estimated to be worth trillions of US Dollars.

She further said Muslim population in Nigeria is estimated at about 52 per cent of the nation’s population and adherents of Islam were usually selective in making Halal choices when it comes to lifestyle and product consumptions.

She said aside from the Islamic population, there is huge number of people around the world that also prefer to consume Halal products based on healthy lifestyle choices, adding that countries around the world have made it easier for such consumers to make easy selections at supermarkets, shops and Nigeria should not be left out.

She said: “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 was 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.

Amb. Katagum, 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.

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.

Dr. Evelyn Ngige, Permanent Secretary in the ministry has earlier said 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.

Ngige who was represented by the Director, Commodity and Export Department in the Ministry, Mr. Suleman Adebayo Audu, expressed the Ministry’s commitment towards providing relevant support required in ensuring that the national assignment given to the Committee is accomplished without hindrance.

On his part, Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Nour Hanga, 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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Breaking: DSS arrests Doyin Okupe at Lagos airport

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The immediate past Director-General of the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe, has reportedly been arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

It was gathered that Okupe was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Ikeja, Lagos State, while on his way to London, the United Kingdom.

According to one of Okupe’s lawyers, Tolu Babaleye who spoke on the subject matter, on Thursday, said the DSS asked him to provide court processes where he paid the fine option following his money laundering conviction by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

When contacted on the report of Okupe’s arrest, Dr Peter Afunanya, DSS Public Relations Officer confirmed that the former Director-General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council was intercepted by the DSS at Terminal 1 of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

“Doyin Okupe was intercepted by the DSS at Terminal 1 of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos this morning at the instance of the EFCC.

“He has long been handed over to the Commisson which requested for the action. “Okupe was billed to fly to London via Virgin Atlantic” He said.

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WE ARE AWARE OF PLANS TO SMEAR THE NAME OF OUR DG AND KEY OFFICIALS OF THE SERVICE – DSS SAYS.

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The Department of State Services (DSS) on Tuesday said the service has uncovered plans by some politicians and disgruntled elements within and outside the government to sponsor smear campaigns against the DGSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi and his key officials over the Service’s uncompromising stance on some critical governance and policy issues.

Public Relations Officer of the service, Peter Afunanya in a statement says, those behind the plot have engaged Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organisations to not only sustain but stage further rallies, road-shows and press conferences and use the occasions to discredit Bichi.

The statement further added that sections of the media have been briefed to implement the strategy through sponsored articles, commentaries and features to malign the DG, his family and select officials of the Service.

” The Service is monitoring developments and will allow the plotters to either exhaust themselves or rescind the plan of action. Otherwise, no amount of intimidation, harassment and blackmail will deter it from discharging its duties. However, it would not idly watch a group of dissatisfied gang to undermine the Service and its highly dedicated Leadership and Management.” Afunanya stated.

The DSS, therefore, wishes to inform the public to be wary of these tendencies and ignore the antics of dark forces out to impugn the character of the DG. It restates its unalloyed support to the President on his resolve to continue to confront head-on, threats to national security as well as create the enabling environment necessary for the 2023 general elections to hold.

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INSECURITY: Those Fighting Me in Imo State Knows We Have Done Well – Hope Uzodinma

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Imo state governor Hope Uzodinma says those fighting him in his home state knows he has done well but only llookin for whom to blame as a way of de-marketing him.

Briefing State House Correspondents After a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja,
The former senator said no one has accused him or his administration of corruption

In his words, ” Those who are fighting me in my state are not saying we’re not working, they are not saying we are not developing the place, they are not accusing us of corruption. All they are saying is that they are contriving, instigating insecurity out of desperation, and then blaming the security on my government.”

“I’ve seen at the sub national that critical security measures are managed and controlled by the federal government. So I cannot be blamed for insecurity, because you cannot single out imo state. National security is about the 36 states of the Federation and FCT inclusive.

“So, I think we’ve done so well. And I’m happy by the grace of God, as soon as we’re able to bring the security to naught, we’ll have an environment that we will all celebrate and be happy with.

“During this season, we had relative peace in imo state, and Christmas is a very critical period for us and the new year is also very critical. And apart from a few scratches in the hinterland we are on top of the security situation now in Imo state.”

Speaking on his mission to the seat of Power, Uzodinma said he had come to see President Buhari in order to appeal to him to approve technology deployment to enable the region deal effectively with the rising cases of insecurity and other violent Crimes which the President has agreed to.

According to him, ” with the president’s approval, advanced surveillance equipment will soon be delivered to the region that will enhance the fight against insecurity without collateral damage.”

He said he was also at the Presidential Villa to thanked the president for what he has done for the region including the recent conversion of the Federal Medical Center Owerri to a university teaching hospital for the Federal University of Technology, and the approval that converted Alvan Ikoku College of Education to a federal college of education.

“The approval to convert Federal Medical Center Owerri to a university teaching hospital for the Federal University of Technology, the approval that converted Alvan Ikoku College of Education to a federal college of education amongst other things is something to be proud of in the region.

” Only two weeks ago, Igbos that came home from Lagos and outside South East enjoyed the benefit of the second Niger Bridge something that is worthy of of commendation.

“I also appealed to him for further support, to support us with some technological deployments, we have planned to be able to do an advanced kind of security control in the South East. And he has also given his approval to that.

“And any moment from now, we’ll be getting some surveillance equipment and some modern technologies that will help us manage security so that we can fight crime with little or no collateral damage to the environment.”

On assurance for Imo State in the New Year, he stated: “Well, my people are enthusiastic and committed Nigerians and we believe in the unity of the country. And we believe that for us to grow as a people, we need the support and cooperation of federal government, and that I’ve always stood for. So, going forward, I know 2023 will be better than 2022. And the level of development, we witnessed from 2020 to 2022 will be improved upon.

“ my people have seen a lot of thing. If you go to South East, in imo State for instance, we got approval of Mr. President, that has now enabling the government imo partnering with the Nigerian navy to dredge oguta river to orashi River to the sea, that is opening up that maritime route, then if there is a naval base, that we will now manage and control, pipelines vandalism, crude oil theft, and all forms of criminality that besieged that area for a very long time. And the crime is has gone down tremendously, since the Navel base was established.

“So I think we have hope for a better Nigeria. The road that we just completed that was commissioned by Mr president, the Owerri to orlu, dualised expressway, Mr President has approved that imo state government be refunded.

“The good news is every day I come to Mr president, one positive approval or the other. So our people are happy, we’re committed, we’re happy, we have never had it so good. that is why I continue to tell you, that the party to beat in my state is APC” He concluded .

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