Posted Tue, Jul 4, 2023 6:02 PM
The Creative Economy Thematic Group of the Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Creatives and Sports as a business Policy Commission (THECS) of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) on Tuesday, 4th of July 2023 held a general assembly to discuss Nigeria’s Creative economy.
The facilitator of the THECS policy commission, Dr Ikenna Nwosu, in his welcome remarks, said that all presidents of professional associations in the creative sector were present to discuss the future of the creative economy, particularly relating to governance, policies, regulations, institutional framework and human resources.
While delivering the opening remarks, a Board member of the NESG, Mr Udeme Ufot MFR, stated that according to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s creative sector comprises five sectors: Media and Entertainment, Beauty and Lifestyle, Visual Arts, Tourism and Hospitality. He noted that the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture (FMIC), the principal policy maker for the sector, has a more extensive categorisation of the Creative industry.
Furthermore, Mr Ufot noted that Nigeria’s Creative sector is at the forefront of the creative industry in Africa, and if its immense potential is realised, its impressive contribution to Nigeria’s economy can still improve to take a leading role in the non-oil sector’s contribution to GDP. “Over 4.2 million people are currently employed across the five sub-sectors, potentially creating more employment and contributing more to the national GDP than the 12.2% currently delivered by the telecommunication and information sector. If fully harnessed, and considering Nigeria’s huge demographic of highly talented youths, the Creative Economy could even outperform the oil industry,” He stated. Mr Ufot reiterated that the dominance of Nigeria’s creative industry in Africa had promoted diverse Nigerian culture and drove inward/outward tourism, including reverse tourism, to diaspora Nigerians. “To optimise the potential of Nigeria’s Creative Economy, we must move the sector from its current disconnected, informal model, to a more structured and connected industry, with formal systems and interconnected protocols that meet the aspirations of the Creative Economy component of our Medium Term National Development Plan (NDP) 2021 – 2025, the recommendations of the longer term National Development Plan 2050 as well as recommendations of various international developmental organisations; there needs to be a pulling together of critical stakeholders in the Nigerian Creative and Entertainment Space, cutting across all sectoral segments of the NESG THECS,” Mr Ufot stated.
In his presentation on Mandate, Strategy and the Future of Advocacy, the Head of Think Tank Operations, NESG, Mr Sijuola Olanubi, said that the NESG believes in public-private dialogue for sustained advocacy. He stated that the NESG’s engagement occurs through the political dimension, administrative transition process and policy dimension, which brings together priority policies used to engage government and all stakeholders, noting that the NESG guides against vested interests and aligns her values in the national interest.
The director-general of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Dr John Asein, who Ms Lynda Alphaeus represented in her presentation titled “The Nigerian Copyright Act 2022 in Perspective”, said that the NCC launched the process for reform of the Act in 2012 and it took about ten years for the new Act to be passed and signed into law. She noted that the Nigerian Entertainment industry has witnessed phenomenal growth, which has led to the creative industry becoming a significant contributor to the Nigerian economy. She revealed that the new Act improves on the old Act and allows authors to become more reliant and have trust in the legal regime, which will lead to enhanced creativity and legal and administrative governance in traditional and digital space.
The director Entertainment and Creative Services Department, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture (FMIC), Ms Ugochi Akudo-Nwosu, said that the Nigerian creative industry is a strong force and that necessitated the mandate of the department to promote public and private sector collaboration, promote entertainment and innovative services and formulate policies that will embolden the Nigerian creative space. She noted the need for a national policy on the creative economy, the establishment of a Creative Economy Agency (CEA), the provision of adequate funding and the strengthening of the relationship between the creative agency and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to improve Nigeria’s creative space. Furthermore, Ms Akudo-Nwosu reiterated the need for relevant stakeholders to liaise with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the implementation of monetary policy for the creative economy and a review of the national cultural policy with relevant stakeholders as measures to develop Nigeria’s creative industry.
The resident representative of the World International Property Organisation (WIPO), Mr Oluwatobiloba Moody, who Ms Victoria represented, said that WIPO has 193 countries and the office in Nigeria is the only office in sub-Saharan Africa, an indication of the creative potential and strength of the Nigerian populace. She noted that WIPO is currently focused on Women, Youth and MSMEs and that the organisation continues to encourage stakeholders to leverage existing resources and capacity-building support related to intellectual property.
At the end of the general assembly, the creative industry association presidents all welcomed the collaboration initiative of the NESG, FMIC and other critical stakeholders for enhancing creative economy governance in Nigeria.