FG Grants Creative Industry Tax Holiday

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Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The creative industry has been accorded a pioneer status in a landmark move that will transform the industry into a creative economy, Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, said in a statement thursday.

Mohammed said the decision to grant the industry ‘Pioneer Status’ was in fulfillment of the promise made by acting President Yemi Osinbajo, represented by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, at the opening of the Creative Industry Financing Conference on Lagos in July 17 to 18, 2017.

The ‘Pioneer Status’ is granted to companies making investments in qualifying industries and products as tax holiday from the payment of corporate income tax and withholding tax on dividend from pioneer profits for an initial period of three years, extendable for one or two additional years.

The status for the creative industry covers music production, publishing and distribution (including online digital distribution); photography; production and post-production of digital content for motion pictures, videos, television programmes, commercials, distribution and exhibition (digital movies, animation, videos, television programmes and commercials); publishing of books (copyrighted books) and development and Publishing of ready-made software (operating systems, software applications and computer games).

‘’This is a shot in the arm for the creative industry, and it will definitely catalyse investments in the industry. It is also the answer to our quest to spur the establishment of world class studios in Nigeria for production and post-production of movies and music videos,’’ Mohammed said.

He said the need to grant ‘Pioneer Status’ to the creative industry as well as tackle the piracy of creative works were among the key issues raised by participants at the Creative Industry Financing Conference.

‘’It is a measure of the increasing importance attached to the industry by the federal government that these issues are now being handled with utmost urgency. First, the ‘Pioneer Status’ has been granted within three weeks of the conclusion of the conference.

Secondly, an Anti-Piracy Committee, comprising representatives of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, industry stakeholders and the police, has been set up to work out the modality for tackling piracy in a lasting and sustainable manner,’’ he said.

He thanked the stakeholders in the creative industry for supporting the federal government in its efforts that have succeeded in putting the industry in the front burner of the economy and made it a key plank of the government’s economic diversification policy.

‘’We are determined to do more for the creative industry in order to allow the creative talents of our youths to blossom, create massive jobs and position Nigeria as a global hub for the industry,’’ the minister said.