Mohammed Seeks Foreign Investment in Nigeria’s Creative Industry

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Lai Mohammed

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

He also described the industry as the fastest

growing sector of the nation’s economy, in terms of business opportunities, employment, earnings and entertainment.

Mohammed stated this yesterday at the 11th Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (Investour), which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) in Madrid,

Spain.

According to a statement by the Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the minister, Mr. Segun Adeyemi, 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.

‘’With over 2,000 movies produced annually, the opportunities are immense for wealth and job creation,” Mohammed said.

He stated that though the growth in the area of cinemas, for example, has been impressive, it is yet 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 explained.

He listed the potential impact of such growth to include the creation of additional one million jobs and a GDP growth contribution of three to five per cent.

According to Mohammed, who served as a panelist at the event, the nation also boasts a vibrant and popular music industry, which not only reflects its cultural richness, but has 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 artistes to thrive.

In the area of fashion, the minister put the earnings at over N4 trillion of Nigeria’s re-based GDP (National Bureau of Statistics, 2018), and described arts and craft as another growing area of the creative industry.

He said with 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.