Creative Industry Financing Confab Starts Today

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohhammed, Thursday, announced the forthcoming Creative Industry Financing Conference billed for 17 and 18 July, 2017 at the Eko Hotel, Lagos. The conference is being organized by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in conjunction with the Think Tank Media.

The main objective of the conference, said the minister, is to take the industry into a golden era of smooth access to short and long term financing, world class management, as well as local and international distribution. “We conceived this conference because of our realization that lack of access to financing is stunting the growth of the Creative Industry. It is the latest in a series of conferences and other events that we have held since assuming office. Recall that we held the landmark National Summit on Culture and Tourism last year to chart the path for the industry. Most of its recommendations are already being implemented. Also, only this Monday, we held a Roundtable on the Creative Industry here in Lagos. Recall also that we have signed a number of MoUs with the Bank of Industry, Tony Elumelu Foundation, and the British Council – all for the sole purpose of boosting the Creative Industry,” the minister said.

He said the Administration attaches a whole lot of importance to the Creative Industry, which is in line with its cardinal programme of diversifying the economy away from oil. Other sectors being developed into pillars of the economy, he added, include the Agriculture and Solid Minerals. “There is no better demonstration of the high priority given to the Creative Industry than the fact that Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, himself will declare open the Creative Industry Financing Conference.”

Topics such as ‘’Government’s Role in Funding Creative Industry’, ‘The Bank of Industry Experience’, ‘Fundamentals of financing film, Television and Music Production’, as well as ‘Film, Television and Digital Distribution’ will be tackled by global experts from within and outside Nigeria.

The minister revealed that Niger Republic has also indicated its willingness to attend the event, having shown a growing interest in “our efforts to grow the Creative Industry.” We expect a large turnout of industry stakeholders at the forthcoming conference. The overall essence of all our efforts is to transform the Creative Industry to a Creative Economy. We also believe that this transformation must be driven by the private sector, with the government providing the enabling environment.

To those who may still be wondering: what is in the Creative Industry? My answer is that it is Nigeria’s new oil. Other countries have also taken advantage of the industry to grow their economy. The Creative industry contributed 84.1 billion Pounds Sterling to the British economy in 2014. It also contributed 698 billion dollars to the US Economy, according to a 2015 report. Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind, hence we are ready to explore and exploit the new oil.

Fielding question from Vanguard on whether the administration will give priority and support to creative works with theme on national unity amongst Nigerians given the heightened agitations now in the country, the minister said “yes, we will.”

It was a special gathering of the major stakeholders in the creative sector in Nigeria as the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, in conjunction with Film House Management, organized a roundtable conference aimed at repositioning and moving the creative industry in Nigeria forward.

Notable names who brainstormed to chart the way forward towards a speedy realization of the agenda include the Honourable Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; The Director General, National Council for arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe; Tony Elumelu, Chairman Heir Holdings; Kene Mkparu, Chief Executive Film House Cinema; Tony Okoroji of COSON; the DG, Nigerian Television authority; The DG Nigeria Tourism Corporation; Representatives from the Bank of Industry Mo Abudu, EbonyLife TV boss; Bolanle Austen-Peters, the Terrakulture boss and many others from the Film, Music, Art, theater and media.

In his earlier remarks, the Honourable Minister, Lai Mohammed said: “I must say the enthusiasm gotten from the audience confirmed the passion and zeal of the stakeholders in the creative industry to move the sector forward. I am here to fastrack our main objective of transforming our creative industry. This administration has no doubt that the plan to transform the creative industry within the economy must be driven by the private sector.

Read more: Vanguard