Ahead of the Creative Industry Financing Conference which kicks off in Lagos on July 17 and 18, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has described the Nigerian creative industry as the ‘new oil’.
Mr. Mohammed made this known in Lagos on Friday while shedding light on the idea behind the conference.
The conference is being organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Think Tank Media.
It will be declared open by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, and is scheduled to begin after a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos on Monday.
According to Mr. Mohammed, the feats that Nigeria is recording in its creative sector, coupled with the potential in the country’s arts, culture, tourism and entertainment, indicates that it harbours a breakthrough for the nation.
The minister noted that Nigeria could not afford to take the creative industry with levity, as it had become the cash cow for many other nations.
“The creative industry contributed £84.1 billion to the British economy in 2014. It also contributed $698 billion to the US economy, according to a 2015 report. So, Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind; hence, we are ready to explore and exploit the new oil.”
According to the minister, the main objective of the conference 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 realisation 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,’’ Mr Mohammed said.
He added that some of the issues to be discussed at the conference includes: ‘Government’s Role in Funding Creative Industry: The Bank of Industry Experience’, ‘Fundamentals of financing film, Television and Music Production’ and ‘Film, Television and Digital Distribution’.