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Stakeholders Brainstorm on Proposed Creative Industry Bill

<strong>Stakeholders Brainstorm on Proposed Creative Industry Bill</strong>

Ferdinand Ekechukwu

The attention of Nigerian creative industry was recently captured by industry stakeholders who at a meeting discussed the proposed Creative Industry Development Bill (CIDB) and its potential to transform the Nigerian creative economy. This collaborative effort between Nigeria’s creative industry and the Presidency seeks to enhance the industry through a well-designed action plan centered on putting the creatives “First”: Funding, Incentives, Research, Skills, and Training.

The stakeholder engagement series led by the CIDB team kicked off recently with an engagement session at the Omenka Gallery in Lagos, hosted by Oliver Enwonwu. The event was attended by prominent stakeholders in the visual arts and arts sector, including leading gallery owners and curators such as the Executive and Artistic Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos) Oyindamola Layo Fakeye, and Segun Oni of The Children’s Art Gallery (TCA).

Two key takeaways from that engagement were the concepts of Perpetual Royalties for artistes on their work and the insertion that all new public buildings in Nigeria (Federal State and Local) should have iconic arts embedded in their budgets leading to a legacy of public monuments across Nigeria and the growth of the art market. The CIDB team met with leaders from the creative writing, performing arts, and theater sectors.

The team also met with media and culture entrepreneurs, that included conversations with the founder of the Silverbird Group, Ben Murray Bruce; the CEO of EbonyLife Media, Mo Abudu; the theatre producer, cultural entrepreneur and the CEO of Terra Kulture, Bolanle Austen-Peters; founder and the CEO of Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Chioma Ude; the COO of Mavin Records, Tega Oghenejobo;  Prolific comedians, Bovi, Nedu, and Chukwudi ‘Husband Material’ Ezugwu; Comedian/Entrepreneur, Ali Baba and actor, Eyinna Nwigwe.

Laoye Jayieola, the CEO of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) hosted the CIDB team led by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Country Risk Assessment and Evaluation, Col. Felix Alaita (rtd), Chinenye Mba Uzoukwu, and Obi Asika, at the NESG headquarters, Summit House, on 7 March 2023. The meeting included the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER) team and thematic leads from relevant NESG sectors.

It was aimed at building support and momentum from the organized private sector. Dr Ikenna Nwosu, Facilitator, Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Creatives and Sports Business (THECS) Policy Commission welcomed the idea of the CIDB and agreed that the NESG would collaborate with the team for the success of the project. 

At the session hosted by Filmhouse Cinemas and TRACE, for players in the Television, Film, Advertising, Arts, Gaming, and Animation sectors, on 8 March, Col. Felix Alaita (rtd), explained that the CIDB as championed by the Presidency, is specifically aimed at transforming the Nigerian creative space through access to funding, provision of incentives, enabling research, and the creation of an environment for skills development and training.

Obi Asika, one of Nigeria’s creative industry leaders and the CIDB Stakeholders Engagement Sub-Committee Lead, stated that the CIDB is a “whole of government and whole of nation” approach with key stakeholders continuously engaged. Chukuka Chukuma, Investment Banker and the CIDB Finance Sub-Committee Lead, emphasized the importance of leaving no one behind and the need to enable and support the sector.

He explained that the bill is not intended to replace existing agencies but to act in the best interests of the creative industries, and drive collaboration. He noted that the private sector, development finance institutions, and global multilaterals all seek a clear line of sight into the sector, and the CIDB will meet their expectations and provide a one-stop-shop that facilitates seamless foreign direct investments.

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