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Private partnership funding dominates Point of View 5

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Chijioke Uwaegbute, Partner, In-sourced Solutions for Tax (West & Central Africa) PricewaterhouseCoopers; Jubril Enakele, MD/CEO, Iron Capital; Femi Akinsanya, Chairman, First Ally Capital; Yvonne Ike, Head, Sub Saharan Africa (Ex-RSA) Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jumoke Sanwo, Creative Director, Revolving Art Incubator

The Ben Enwonwu Foundation (BEF), in collaboration with the Society of Nigerian Artists, at its monthly talk series, ‘Point of View’ (POV), has called for a funding of the visual arts sector through public and private sector partnership.

Supported by Alliance Française/Mike Adenuga Centre, Lagos, POV5 examined recent developments in public and private sector funding support for creative arts in Nigeria.

High on the agenda was the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), collaboration between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee, which seeks to improve access to long-term, low-cost financing for entrepreneurs and investors in the creative and information technology sectors in Nigeria.

Presentations and discussions by stakeholders including Partner and Leader In-sourced Solutions for Tax (West and Central Africa) at PwC, Chijioke Uwaegbute; Group Head, Creative Industry, Bank of Industry, Uche C. Nwuka; Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, MTN Nigeria, Odunayo Sanya; CEO, Hatch Ideas Worldwide, Yemisi Mokuolu, revolved around the seeming exclusion of the visual arts from such policies, making the sector’s impact in stimulating economic growth, capacity building, skill acquisition and job creation not noticeable.

In funding and strengthening policies that will transform Africa, stakeholders examined and compared models and partnerships in the United Kingdom and other climes.

The theme for the panel discussion was, Transforming Africa through Culture: Funding and Strengthening Policies.

Acting Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation and Head, Planning and Customer Management team, Odunayo Sanya, who spoke on the topic, Public and Private Sector Partnership, said the telecom firm identifies art and culture as a very strong pillar of existence and of the community.

“Over the years, we have sponsored a few programmes that speak to the art, notable of which is the Life In My City Exhibition, that held last year in 11 cities across the country and we had the grand finale in Enugu. The good thing about the Life In My City sponsorship is that art has been taken back to the secondary schools.

“We energised the students to get into completion, they beautified various walls in different cities. Another one is the work we are doing with Polly Alakija, called My Story Of Water, where teachers are taught to use art to pass on the hard message of knowledge and the children were taught how to turn wastes to wealth when they decorate kegs of water and it becomes art that has been displayed in the UK, so, we do support art.”

The SNA Lagos chapter chairman, Idowu Sonaya, said, “over the last two years, we’ve been able to secure partnerships with some companies and we are still looking for more.

“Banks have shown interest in partnering with us and we are expecting that this will come to fruition very soon, but we need more; especially, we need backings from the government. So, we are open to both public and private sectors.”

He added, “whatever partnership we are entering into should go with the ideas of SNA, because our aim is to promote the Nigerian art. If we are promoting the art and the artists are not being promoted, the artist may be frustrated. So, we need to promote the two.”


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