The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has revealed an initiated plan by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with Bankers’ Committee to grant N500m access loan with nine per cent interest rate to support the entertainment industry and stimulate economic growth of the nation.
He disclosed this during the maiden edition of the Nigeria Entertainment and Economic Roundtable event organised by Afrocultour and held in Lagos, with the theme: “Positioning the Creative and Entertainment Industry to Lead Private Sector in Supporting Federal and State Governments Effort at Achieving Urgent Economic Diversification.”
The minister who was represented by the Director of Information, Augustus Ajibade said it is aimed at strengthening the productive base of the economy in a strategic manner.
Mohammed said the roundtable is designed to discuss problems of mutual interest with stakeholders in the entertainment, media, arts, lifestyle and fashion industries, as well as support the culture of dialogue to strengthen the sector.
He explained that the Creative Industry Financing Initiative, (CIFI) was introduced to improve access to long term, low cost financing for entrepreneurs and investors in the Nigerian creative and information technology (IT) sub sector.
Mohammed lauded the CBN governor and Bankers’ committee for the financial initiative to accelerate financial inclusion for the sector; the funds are available at Guarantee Trust Central Bank (CBN).
“The entertainment industry is a significant part of the arts, entertainment and recreation sector contributed N156.5B to Nigeria’s GDP in 2018 alone.
“They equally gained international recognition with Nigerian film and music being demanded abroad, especially on the account of the growing population of Nigerians in diaspora. It is also a veritable source of employment and livelihood to a larger population.
“Iroko TV, a leading streaming platform for Nigeria and Ghana content has made film streaming more convenient from any mobile device. Many Nigerians due to their busy schedules find it hard to go to cinemas but use their phones to watch movies.”
More so, the minister stated that the Nigerian music industry has equally embraced digital distribution of content with various music digital distributors such as Boomplay, Apple music, Habari by GTBank where music audio can be streamed and downloaded on one scene.
“Youtube has also contributed to revenue generation of the industry as the number of views on musical video translates to money. With the new development, sizable revenue is generated from streaming and international business relationships, intellectual property among others.
“This has led to the formation of two tiers, a low budget tier in which the paradigms and dynamics of old Nollywood persist and the top tier with higher budget and better technical quality leading to aesthetic revision of cinematographic patterns”, he added.
On his part, Minister of state, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba said the entertainment industry contributed 2.3 per cent, approximately N239b to nation’s GDP in 2016, due to this the sector was strategically captured in the ERGP to increase film production by 15 per cent, export video to generate USD1 billion in foreign exchange by 2020, encourage the development of special funding window and provide incentive for private sector investment.
“The Buhari administration is committed to the process of shifting Nigeria’s economy away from single income source-oil earnings towards multiple sources of earnings from a growing range of sectors and markets, stating that the creative and entertainment sector has become one of the focuses due to the global recognition and fund entertainment has brought to the nation.“
Agba added that the mandate is to encourage the private sector, more especially the youth participation in the industry to create jobs and generate foreign exchange earnings.