Nigeria’s Creative Industry worths $2.9trn

... Projects N2.8trn contribution to GDP by 2025

By Stanley Edward

Nigeria’s Creative Industry may add up to is $15bn to the country’s Gross Domestic Product,  GDP  by 2025.
$15bn is about N6. 8trn on official rate of N459. 9 per dollar.
Following this prospective windfall, the government of Nigeria has pledged to support the Creative Industry, and empower the youth to bring about the needed economic growth.

The disclosure was made at an MDA consultation session to review the proposed draft of the creative industries Bill (CIDB) in Abuja, on Friday.
Delivering his remarks, a creative Artist, Chukwuma Chukwuma,  said the creative industry is currently worth $2.9trillion  and that Nigeria’s segment contributed about $7.7 billion in 2022 and is expected to contribute $15 billion in 2025.

Chukwuma said the industry has come a long way and that Nigeria may not have qualified for 2022 World Cup but Afrobeat represented the country.
For him, passing the bill into law  will enable industry to grow exponentially.
”We need to enact enabling legislations to facilitate the growth of the industry, but to do this, we need tax incentives and exceptions for industry players, develop specific industry infrastructure, ensure training of professionals and promote the industry to the global community”.

Meanwhile, the Federal government says it has set up a legal team to look into the Creative Industries Development Bill with a view to addressing all the conflicting areas with existing agencies.
The bill is for an Act to establish a creative industry development commission and to provide enabling environment for creative industry in industry and other related matters.

The minister  of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed, wwho was represented by the Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC, Otumba Runsewe explained that the legal team will be looking into areas the new bill is in conflict with other existing parastatals, areas it is toughing on existing laws because, with a view to ascertain whether the level of performance of the parastatatals of government in place.



The Minister, who decried competition among local players in the creative industry, said that the job of the committee became necessary to avert possible duplication of laws so that after this bill, somebody will not come tomorrow and create another bill, saying that the onus of the issue is for creative should be thinking how to strengthen the legal framework and not to compete among themselves.

‘‘If we don’t quickly address what is going on in Nigeria, posterity will judge all of us.   A lot of things are being done the wrong way, we just leave it and we think somebody will just come tomorrow to correct some of them. Looking at the document, I believe in most cases, we rush into conclusions, and that is why we have a lot of bits to carry along

‘‘As for the bill, I will set up a legal team to look at what areas is it conflicting with other parastatals, areas it is toughing on existing laws because, we need to ask what is happening to  pastatatals of government place, whether they are doing well.

‘‘We need to look at all these, is not just every day, so that after this bill, somebody will come tomorrow and create another bill. And we will be billing, thinking of what the bill will offer us, while the whole world move forward. The onus of the issue is that we compete among ourselves too much. All we should be thinking is to strengthen the legal framework’’.

‘‘For me, a legal framework committee will be set up to look at the document and advice government on what to do. Some items of the document are infringing on some parastatals already set up by government by law. We should put our heads together, see what can unite Nigeria.

‘’‘The national endowment fund set up by law is there but we have not been able to activate it. We will do a formal report to the minister, who will be guided on what next should be done to this document.
‘‘In the next 7 days, we will submit our report to the minister to show what we believe and next line of action should be taken. Time has come for Nigerians to come together to move forward.’’

The Director,  Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze said he believed strongly in the potential of the creative industry to become a leading contributor to not just the GDP but to create jobs, saying that what ‘‘we see is job rich growth and this is one sector that has the potential to deliver that’’.

Nwabueze, who frowned at duplication of parastatals due to paucity of funds, pledged the  willingness of federal government to providing the enabling  environment for the creative industry in Nigeria and other related matters to thrive, adding that, ‘‘whatever that is needful in this regard we will be ready to do are a memo on this’’.
While, praising the industry players for coming this far without of government support, he however, cautioned that if the country go further on the path of duplication of agencies, it might become a clog in the wheel of progress for the economy.

‘’As far as I am concerned, creative industry fund exist already in the CBN.  The capacity for government to throw money for sharing does not exist. This sector has come this far almost in-spite of government, don’t bring too much government into this sector, or you risk losing a lot of what you have gained so far.
‘‘My position is that this sector requires the support of government, but the biggest area it requires government support is in the area of protection of intellection capital’’.

On his part, the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Authority, NTDA, Folorunso Cocker described the session as an opportunity for government, the private sector and this newly identified sector  to work together.
‘‘I have been through this process over the last six years. I like the fact that government and private sector have finally realised that the creative industry is an industry that needs to be treated special. For that I am happy with this bill.

‘‘It is not about competition but collaboration for us to grow this industry. One of the challenges we facing is gap of skilled set disrupting digital skill sets. You have to help communicate better in a simpler intermediate form or language government can work with.
‘‘There has always been a focus on academic and university degrees. Vocational is what made China and Korea what they are today, the vocational produced meaningful income that is taxable by the system.’’

‘‘Our collaboration means more to us than our competition. One thing I don’t like in the bill is that the policy agencies of government are the directors of the board of these parastatals. You need the implementing agencies of government on the board not the policy agencies or you get same experience I had.  Consult a little more wider that you are currently doing. We must leverage innovation and build into the future’’.

Earlier, the head of legal team, Creative Industries Development Bill, Davidson Oturu said the intension of the bill was not to regulate the creative industry but to enable the ecosystem, so that what they are doing in silos   the commission can make the available resources trickle down to all creative.

He argued that, ‘‘even though challenges exist as indicated by Orosanya report, we will not run away from it. We should find ways of transforming  existing structures that can attend the issues that identified. If clusters are created, all the remittances from creative in Diaspora will come back to Nigeria.
‘’Our intension is also to meet with every legal teams to brain storm on grey areas and come up with common ground,’’ he added.

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