Why Nigeria needs to invest in creative industry, by minister
• It is only sector not affected by recession
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has stated the need for government to invest in the creative industry.
Mohammed made the call yesterday in Lagos at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between his ministry and the Tony Elumelu Foundation for funding and capacity building in the sector.
He also called for cooperation among stakeholders to curtail piracy, which is affecting earnings in the sector.
The minister, who described the creative industry and tourism as the “new oil” for Nigeria, said: “The MoU we are about to sign will spell out the modalities of our partnership. Specifically, the areas of collaboration will include the creation of an enabling business environment for the creative industry with such incentives as easy access to finance; the structuring of the sector to enable it to generate independent revenue locally and also boost exports to increase Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.”
The sector, which accounted for about 1.3 of the country’s GDP (about N6 billion) last year when the economy was rebased, according to Mohammed, needs private sector collaboration to take it to the next level.
The minister said: “The industry is the only sector of the economy not affected by recession. It is the only asset that grows value over time like the works of visual artists.”
On piracy, the information minister assured that the government would take a decisive action to curb the menace, but charged stakeholders to also assist the police in this direction.
“We are very concerned about piracy. The plan to set up anti-piracy mobile police force is a good idea. It is not only films that are pirated, but artworks as well. We need to have trained people at the airports to control artworks and artifacts from being taken outside the country. Stakeholders should partner the police.”
Tony Elumelu and the CEO of the foundation, Paminda Vir, pledged to assist practitioners in the sector with $10,000 grant.