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Shettima: Nigeria Will Increase Funding For Creative Industry To Enhance Productivity

Shettima: Nigeria Will Increase Funding For Creative Industry To Enhance Productivity

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Nigeria’s federal government has assured practitioners in the creative and entertainment industry of the present administration’s support for the industry to take the rightful place as Africa’s creative powerhouse.
Vice President Kashim Shettima, who gave the assurance Tuesday at the Art, Culture and Creative Economy Roundtable, at the Stste House, Abuja, also apologized to the art and creative industry for the lack of interest shown by successive governments over the years.
Shettima, noted that Nigerian artists and creatives have continued to make their marks on the world stage, winning awards and bringing in financial returns in foreign currencies.
While hailing the industry and its drivers for their contributions to the nation’s growth, the Vice President said it was the positive portrayals of the country in the various creative works like movies, music and other works of arts that most of the negative narratives about the country have been corrected.
He, however, assured the industry of President Tinubu to remedy the past neglect, part of which was the roundtable convened, further assuring them that the President is in tune with realities in the industry, especially the fact that it is a critical segment of the global economy.  
According to him: “It is through your talents that we refused the caricatured image and unveiled the true essence of Nigeria’s creative minds. So on behalf of the Nigerian government, allow me to extend our profound and sincere gratitude.
“Thankfully, our President, my boss, is the architect of the nation’s entertainment hub and there’s a reason your industry refers to him as City Boy. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not only cosmopolitan, a man of arts and culture, in tune with the realities of your industry, but he has also acknowledged your industry is a critical segment of the global economy. 
“Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, this roundtable is an avenue for us to deliberate and recommit ourselves to fostering an environment that nurtures creativity, innovation, and inclusivity. More than ever, we see the need to amplify the voices of our creative minds and power our best talents and harness the unbridled potential that lies within the pulse of Nigeria’s diverse cultural tapestry. 
“This roundtable discussion isn’t just for us to chart a course that celebrates our past achievements, it is for us to pave the way for an even brighter, more inclusive and prosperous future for Nigeria’s creative economy, for it is through such synergy that we shall continue to ascend to greater heights, and cement Nigeria’s rightful place as the unrivaled creative powerhouse in Africa. 
“Finally, I want to call on the gentleman seated here, the Minister of Economic Planning to kindly jack up, quadruple the budget for the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy.
“We are going to walk the talk, this is not empty verbosity, we will support you, we will create the enabling environment for you to excel. You have come this far in spite of us, not because of us. But President Bola Tinubu is a man with the passion, zeal and commitment to redefine the meaning and concept of modern leadership. He’s a very decent man, I can give testimony to that. Let’s rally around him and move our nation forward”.
Earlier, Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa Musawa, while introducing her roadmap to the roundtable, unveiled five targeted objectives to be achieved, one of which is the economic plan, which aims to create millions of jobs and contribute 10% of the nation’s GDP, at about N100 billion.
She also unveiled the ministry’s vision and agenda for the creative sector, which is partly encapsulated in the ‘Destination 2023, Nigeria Everywhere’ initiative – a soft power programme to showcase Nigeria’s abundant talents in the creative sector.
According to her, the plan is to firmly establish Nigeria as the leading global hub for arts, culture and creativity, noting that “with this initiative, we are going to change the narrative about Nigeria globally.”
“Our vision is built upon five key pillars, the first; Policy, Legislative, Regulatory Intellectual Property Reforms. We understand that in order for us to bring authenticity back to the sector, we must create security and that is in tightening up our intellectual property reforms. A conducive environment, which encourages growth and investment, one which enables all players to participate fairly, is the crucial foundation we require. 
“By protecting creative rights, intellectual property and economic rights, we hope to send the right signal to our talents, investors and the world that we as Nigerians are actually open for business, secure and safe business.
“Cultural Plan, number two; we are committed to what deep dive into every creative sub sector from the finest works of excellence, to the realms of music, and even gaming. We understand the power of culture, to unite and to inspire, and we intend to truly and fully harness it to its fullest potential. 
“Three, Economic Plan: We have developed an extremely robust economic plan, aimed at creating millions of jobs, supported by comprehensive skills training programs. Our objective is to contribute 10% of the nation’s GDP, expanding the sectoral GDP to a remarkable N100 billion by the year 2030. 
“However, since we have the support of the great Director himself, to give us the sort of support I think we can push ourselves further to see if we can leap-frog to reach that N300 billion benchmark by 2030”, she said.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer, Prembly, Mr Lanre Ogungbe, said Nigeria’s creative industry was one of most vibrant all over the world.
He, therefore, expressed hope that the industry could impact million of people positively.
Also speaking, Managing Director, Providus Bank, Mr Walter Akpani, said the industry had not only been creative “in creating jobs” and projected a new image of recognition for the country across the world but also brought foreign exchange.
What we need to do, he added, is to institutionalise how it can be sustainable.
He projected that the creative and entertainment industry could actually raise N250 billion by 2030.
In his comments, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, said the Tinubu administration was committed to the development of art and creative industry because of its interconnection with job creation. 

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