Invest in Nigeria’s Creative Industry, Minister Urges Investors

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (4th from right), serving as a panelist at the 11th Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (Investour) in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has urged investors to take advantage of the burgeoning opportunities in Nigeria’s Creative Industry.

Speaking at the 11th Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (Investour), held on the sidelines of the ongoing International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday, the minister described the creative industry as the fastest growing sector of the nation’s economy, in terms of business opportunities, employment, earnings and entertainment.

In a statement issued by Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of The Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Mohammed said the sector currently employs about one million people, directly and indirectly, and has the potential to employ millions more, with the much-needed investment.

”Nollywood, for example, is not just about entertainment. It is also a major driver of economic growth and job creation, especially for
youths and women,” Alhaji Mohammed said, adding, ”With over 2,000 movies produced annually, the opportunities are immense for wealth and job creation.”

Mohammed said though the growth in the area of cinemas, for example, had been impressive, it was still a tip of the iceberg.

”In 2014, Nigeria had just 23 cinemas, 100 screens and three digital platforms. By 2018-2019, the cinemas have grown to 51, the screens to 184 and the digital platforms to five. Now, this is just a tip of the iceberg, considering that 6,000 screens and 1,000 cinemas are required to serve the Nigerian population of about 200 million people,” the Minister said.

He said the potential impact of such growth includes the creation of additional 1 million jobs and a GDP growth contribution of 3 to 5 per cent.

Mohammed, who served as a panelist at the event, said the nation also boasts a very vibrant and popular music industry which not only reflects her cultural richness, but had over the years translated into international recognition and acceptance.

”The Nigeria music revenue grew from about $36 million in 2014 to $53 million in 2018 and is projected to hit $86 million in 2021, making it the biggest in the region,” he said.

He noted that a chunk of the figure comes from digital music consumption, an area of the market which significantly boosted the industry in Nigeria and paved the way for local artists to thrive.

In the area of fashion, the minister put the earnings at over N4trillion of Nigeria’s re-based GDP (National Bureau of Statistics, 2018), and described arts and crafts as another growing area of the Creative Industry.

He said with a rich food diversity, Nigeria could also leverage on gastronomy to grow its tourism and create job, especially for women who, he said, dominate the sector.

”It offers opportunities for communities to integrate tourism and local food systems in order to promote economic activities. Gastronomy tourism contributes positively to many levels of the tourism value chain, such as agriculture and local food manufacturing and provides a platform for the promotion of cultures through their cuisine,” Mohammed said.