FG, UNWTO, CNN partner to boost Nigeria’s creative industry

Posted: July 11, 2017 in general
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By VICTOR NZE

Tourism Roundtable

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (m) flanked by Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr Folorunsho Folarin-Coker, Director General, National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe and others at the Creative Industry Roundtable held at Renaissance Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Monday.

Federal Government has announced a tripartite partnership involving the Cable News Network (CNN), and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) aimed at lifting the creative sub-sector of the Nigerian economy, using the film industry as a pivot.

Announcing details of the agreement at the just-concluded Creative Industry Roundtable which held at the Renaissance Hotel, Ikeja, Monday, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said under the partnership, the film industry will be used ”as a lens through which we will project various aspects of the Nigerian Culture, Tourism and similar areas”.

”We are kick-starting the project with a 13-episode production showcasing the various stages in a movie production. These include the choice of location, which will allow us to showcase the various beautiful sceneries available in Nigeria; the choice of wardrobe that will show the rich options in the country’s fashion industry; the choice of sound track that will highlight our rich music genres, the casting that will showcase our abundant talents and the technical part that will provide the platform to show that there is no camera and other gadgets that we don’t have here.

”As part of the project, we will also run a programme on CNN showcasing the 20 Nigerians to watch in the Industry. The Nigerians to be showcased will be selected by the industry players themselves to ensure authenticity,” the Minister said.

He said the tripartite partnership, as well as the MoUs with the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the Bank of Industry and the British Council, were part of the efforts by the Federal Government to transform the Creative Industry to a Creative Economy.

Alhaji Mohammed said that he organized the Creative Industry Roundtable, which was well attended by industry stakeholders, to show the government’s willingness to work with the private sector in the transformation of the creative industry to a viable one.

”This Administration has no doubt that the plan to transform the Creative Industry to a Creative Economy must be driven by the private sector. After all, it is self-evident that the modest growth that has been achieved in the Creative Industry so far, whether in films, music or fashion, has been achieved in spite of the government. It therefore stands to reason that with the government providing the necessary enabling environment and the private sector in the driver’s seat, the transformation can be realized within a short time,” he said.

The Minister who noted that the Roundtable was not intended as another talk shop, added: ”The stakeholders who are here are already aware of the problems mitigating against the seamless growth of the industry, hence I don’t expect us to spend quality time here today rehashing those problems. Instead, we should devote our time to seeking practical solutions to the problems we have earlier identified at many fora.”

Alhaji Mohammed reiterated his earlier statement that the Creative Industry is Nigeria’s new oil, saying statistics from other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, attest to this.

”The Creative industry contributed 84.1 billion Pounds Sterling to the British economy in 2014. According to figures released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, that was an increase of 7 billion pounds on the year before. The figures also show that the number of jobs in the industry grew by almost 9% between 2013 and 2014 – almost double the rest of the economy as a whole (4.6%). One of the areas of strongest growth was in film, TV, video, radio and photography, which rose almost 14%.

”In the United States, the Creative Industry, including Hollywood and broadcasting, contributes more to the U.S. economy than previously thought, the government said in its first official analysis of the arts and culture sector’s economic value. The 2015 report from the National Endowment for the Arts and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows arts and culture contributed more than 698 billion dollars to the economy, which is about 4.32 percent of U.S. goods and services,” he said.

The Minister said deliberations from the Roundtable would feed into a larger event, the Creative Industry Financing Conference, slated to hold from July 17 to 18 at the Eko Hotel in Lagos.

”To highlight the importance attached to this sector by the Federal Government, no less a personality than the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, will declare that Conference open,” he said.

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