The Federal Government has set machinery in motion towards the standardisation of Nigerian food recipes in major cities across the world as a means of promoting patronage of Nigerian cuisine and menus in foreign countries.
The plan is part of the Nigeria Diaspora Export Programme, which was developed by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, unveiled at a one-day stakeholders’ forum in Enugu. Presenting the roadmap, NEPC Consultant, Mr. Osita Nwafor, said the promotion of Nigerian cuisine and menu was part of the ‘Nigerian Cuisine Beyond Borders’ project of the Nigeria Diaspora Export Programme. According to him, to effectively promote the country’s culinary delicacies abroad, Nwafor further explained that there were plans to set up “world-class and unified Nigerian restaurants across the world.” It would also involve the promotion of a “standard menu” for all Nigerian restaurants in different parts of the world, he said. According to the plan, Nigerian cuisine is expected to ‘taste alike’ in accredited restaurants across the world, just as Chinese foods have similar tastes in Chinese eateries in different countries.
The Nigeria Diaspora Export Programme is expected to contribute to the diversification of the economy by effectively involving Nigerians in the Diaspora in the promotion of the country’s non-oil exports, according to the project roadmap, which was presented at the forum. In the same vein, Nwafor disclosed that another aspect of Dispora export programme the Nigeria Heritage City is expected to create a cultural/commercial environment similar to the popular ‘China Town’ for the promotion of Nigerian goods and services abroad. “Cities with large concentration of Nigerians across the globe with good business atmosphere are to be targeted for the Nigerian Heritage City (aka Nigeria Town) project,” Nwafor added. Cities under consideration for the implementation of the ‘Nigeria Town’ project include London, Atlanta, Houston, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Abidjan, Dubai and Guangzhou, according to the roadmap. Nwafor noted that Houston in the United States, and London, in the United Kingdom, had been selected for the pilot implementation of the Nigerian Heritage City project. According to him, Houston and London have been selected because of high concentration of Nigerians in both cities.
The Nigerian Heritage City is expected to host warehouses, Nigerian foodstuffs market, art and craft galleries, restaurants, solid minerals market, event centers, commodity exchanges, banks and financial services, recording and training studios for Nollywood and creative artistes, among other facilities. Nigerian language schools would also be established in the planned Nigeria Heritage cities, he stated. Nwafor further noted that the Nigerian Diaspora Export Programme would “create a platform to enable quick and easy penetration of products and services of Nigerian origin into the global market.”