Atiku noted that one of the major factors hindering the growth of the creative sector is the lack of access to funding.
PDP presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku at the roundtable discussion with Nigeria’s creative cultural and innovative industry stakeholders in Lagos.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku, has promised to make funding more easily accessible for the creative industry, if elected president in the 2023 general elections.
Atiku promises more funding: The former Vice President also committed himself to making available increased funding needed for the sector to unleash its potentials, especially in the areas of creativity and job creation.
He made this vow during a roundtable discussion with stakeholders in Nigeria’s creative, cultural and innovative industry.
Why this is important: Pulse reports that the event, held at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels, on Saturday, November 26, 2022, had in attendance key players in the creative space who ceased the opportunity to highlight the challenges in the sector and how government can help to strengthen the booming entertainment industry through collaborative initiatives.
Some of the panelists at the roundtable discussion include Talent Manage and Music Executive, Efe Omorogbe;top entertainment entrepreneur, Ayo Animashaun; media entrepreneur, Agatha Amata; ace creative director, Papa Omotayo; award-winning director, Kenneth Gyang; filmmaker, Francis Onochie among others.
Atiku sees opportunities in the creative sector: The PDP presidential candidate admitted that, if given the necessary support, the creative industry can contribute significantly to wealth creation, employment opportunities and revenue generation for the country.
He, therefore, promised to make the creative ecosystem more conducive for players by providing adequate fundings, trainings, and capacity development.
Easy access to funding: Atiku also said he will ensure the usual bottlenecks are eliminated as the process would be liberalised with funds distributed through banks or agencies in order to make it accessible for operators in the sector.
Atiku’s word: “I commend the presentations so far, I understand your challenges which I am also facing because I own a television and radio station, I face the same problem of access to water and electricity as well as bad roads, so I want you to regard me as one of you.
“The way forward is to increase funds for the arts and liberalise the process of acquiring that fund, if you give me the opportunity, I will do it because it is essential.
“I reject direct CBN intervention and encourage the private sector to be part of this, government cannot develop all the fund needed.
“I look forward to a close collaboration with you on how we can develop the sector and exploit the potential, it is a multi-billion income creating sector.
“If we work together, we can make it, I look forward to another meeting before the elections to agree on some modalities on how things will be done,” he said
Atiku commends players: The former Vice President also commended the stakeholders for their patriotic doggedness which he noted has continued to motivate them to keep providing jobs and contributing to the economy amid several challenges and lack of needed support.
Okowa makes promises: On his part, PDP Vice Presidential candidate and Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, commended the panelists at the session for identifying the and proposing solutions to the challenges in the sector.
The governor assured the practitioners that all the requests tabled before his principal will be well articulated just as promised, adding that Nollywood would be saddled with the task of managing the newly built Film Village in Asaba, Delta state, which would be commissioned by Atiku in December.
Okowa’s word: “There would be a new Nigeria if we work together to defend our land and take pride in it.
“We can make Nigeria work again through collaboration with the aim to rebuild the foundation.
Earlier, Omorogbe had identified piracy and Nigerians’ unwillingness to pay music royalties as the two major challenges the music industry has had to contend with.
He lamented the discouraging situation in which less than 10 per cent of music consumers paid for royalties, adding that the Nigerian music industry remains so huge, yet to be properly tapped.
As for Animashaun, he stated that there is a need for government to create an enabling environment for the creative industry in order for businesses to thrive.
“We do not have the enabling environment to perform at the best capacity; this makes it so difficult to carry out major projects,” he said.
A filmmaker, Gyan, said that if the industry must function optimally, the incoming President needed to create a national endowment fund for practitioners in the creative space just as practised in other climes.
“If funds are created for filmmakers, it will enable us to tell our stories as a country in the most dignifying way,” he said.
Founder, Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Chioma Ude, made a case for more film festivals to showcase Nigerian and African creative content.