Monday, March 01, 2021 / 11:10AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: True Sounds
An enabling environment is a key to the growth and development of the thriving creative industry in Nigeria. Mr. Atunyota Akpobome, also known by his stage name Alibaba, made this point while speaking on the "Opportunities for Unlocking the Growth of the Arts and Entertainment Industry In Nigeria".
Alibaba an industry professional and ace comedian who Chaired the COVID-19 Committee for The Creative Industry, said policymakers and lawmakers in the country must change their orientation about the Arts and Entertainment sector to unlock its potentials.
He said the Committee in carrying out its mandate assigned to it by the Minister of Information, Culture & Tourism in its report, discovered that the industry had a large ecosystem.
This, according to him has led to a review of the Federal Government's proposed intervention, which would comprehensively address the challenges of stakeholders in the industry.
He admitted the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the creative industry's activities in 2020, which led to a slowdown in shows and events, across the entertainment value chain.
"The creative industry is the second largest employer of labour in the country and requires all the necessary policy and legislative support, to drive socio-economic activities in Nigeria" he said.
He called for legislative action in the country against piracy and the need to strengthen intellectual property rights laws for practitioners in the creative industry.
Alibaba added that the country needs a more structured creative industry, with capacity-building programs in areas like cinematography, production, and sound engineering.
On the recent Central Bank of Nigeria Bankers Committee intervention in rehabilitating the iconic "National Arts Theatre" in Lagos, he described it as a welcome development as it will help to transform the infrastructure into Nigeria's creative industry hub.
"When the National Arts Theatre rehabilitation work is completed alongside the blue rail project along the axis, it would replicate the O2 arena in London, United Kingdom" Alibaba said
Looking at the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) of the CBN he said the first level beneficiaries are the ICT, Fashion, Movies, and Music production stakeholders, and there are expectations that it would be expanded to other segments of the industry.
He called for the integration of the creative industry in the nation's economic agenda, citing countries like the United Arab Emirates, which have leveraged the industry to boost tourism, socio-economic activities and even attract foreign investments.