Creative Industry Can Boost Economic Growth, Says FG

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Jonathan Eze
The federal government has urged Nigerians to take advantage of the abundant opportunities that abound in the creative industry for sustainable economic growth in the country.

The Minister of State, Trade, Industry and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, made the disclosure in Lagos at the Creative Entrepreneur Summit organised by the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University tagged “Cashing in on your creativity”

The minister revealed plans by the President Muhammadu Buhari- led administration to drive the country’s creative industry by supporting and creating the enabling environment through partnership with private sector and the global community to attain its full potential.

Abubakar, who was represented by Dr. Adewale Bakare, stated that the Nigerian creative industry was the fastest growing in the world and had seen a period of rapid growth spurred by emerging digital trends of technology which support content creation, digital learning and creativity.

She said, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “Nollywood is the second biggest employer in Nigeria engaging over a million persons. The significance of the Nigerian film industry came into focus after the rebasing of the national economy in 2013.
“The film sector was seen to contribute 1.42 per cent to the economy and by 2016, the film industry sector contributed 2.3 per cent (N239 billion) of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“As a result of the industry’s financial potential and job creation capacity, the industry became a focus for interventions, investments, and partnerships.”
However, she recalled that 2018 was marked by two international partnerships which involved Sony Pictures Television and Netflix, with the former entering into an agreement with Ebony Life Television to develop three African TV series while the latter acquired the worldwide rights of Genevieve Nnaji’s Lion Heart for US$2million.

That was Netflix’s first acquisition of Nigerian content since its entry into the Nigerian film and TV market in 2016.
She highlighted three major areas of comparative advantage to the Nigeria creative industry to be music, film and information technology.

She also added that the industry has urged the citizens to take advantage of the opportunities that abounds in the sector. This was inclusive of providing business advisory services for SMEs within the sector. These services include structuring of business plans to increase access to funding and FDI and establishing equipment-leasing outfits. In addition, providing training and capacity building for industry actors and improving the use of technology platforms.

On the music industry, the minister said the cultural wealth of Nigeria’s entertainment industry remains dominant in spite of westernisation and urbanisation which had made the country a major entertainment hub in Africa.

“The musicians in the industry intertwine African cultural themes by infusing traditional styles into modern music creation and production.
“This has generated a unique profile for the industry and fueled its popularity, giving the Nigerian music world-wide recognition.

“The lucrativeness of the industry, as well as the enabling environment it provides for all genres to thrive, is noteworthy.”
Speaking on the Nigerian Information Technology (IT) industry, she said that Nigeria continued to grow exponentially in digital adaptation and technology use. With a mobile penetration of 84 per cent, the Nigerian tech market is yet to be fully exploited.

She numbered the opportunities in the Information Technology Industry to include providing business-advisory services to industry players by designing industry-specific funding opportunities for the sector.

She further assured that the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade & Investment and its Agencies like the Bank of Industry, (BOI), Nigeria Export Promotion Council, (NEPC), Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) would increase their support for the industry.