FG Partners UNWTO, CNN To Boost Creative Industry

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By Tunde Oguntola, Abuja

The federal government has announced a tripartite partnership with the  United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and CNN network to  boost the country’s creative industry.

The minister of Information and Culture,  Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who announced the partnership in Lagos yesterday a roundtable meeting said under the partnership, the film industry will be used as a lens through which the country will project various aspects of the Nigerian culture, tourism and similar areas.

Using the film industry as a pivot, Alhaji Mohammed reiterated his earlier statement that the creative industry is Nigeria’s will be the nation new oil, saying statistics from other countries, including the UK and the US, attest to this.

“We are kick-starting the project with a 13-episode production showcasing the various stages in a movie production. These include the choice of location, which will allow us to showcase the various beautiful sceneries available in Nigeria; the choice of wardrobe that will show the rich options in the country’s fashion industry; the choice of sound track that will highlight our rich music genres, the casting that will showcase our abundant talents and the technical part that will provide the platform to show that there is no camera and other gadgets that we don’t have here.

“As part of the project, we will also run a programme on CNN showcasing the 20 Nigerians to watch in the Industry. The Nigerians to be showcased will be selected by the industry players themselves to  ensure authenticity,’’ the minister said.

He said the tripartite partnership, as well as the MoUs with the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the Bank of Industry and the British Council, were part of the efforts by the federal government to transform the creative industry to a creative economy. ‘’This Administration has no doubt that the plan to transform the Creative industry to a Creative Economy must be driven by the private sector. After all, it is self evident that the modest growth that has been achieved in the Creative industry so far, whether in films, music or fashion, has been achieved in spite of the government. It therefore stands to reason that with the government providing the necessary enabling environment and the private sector in the driver’s seat, the transformation can be realised within a short time,’’ he said.

The minister said the Roundtable was not intended as another talk shop, adding, “The stakeholders who are here are already aware of the problems mitigating against the seamless growth of the industry, hence. I don’t expect us to spend quality time here today rehashing those problems.”

“Instead, we should devote our time to seeking practical solutions to the problems we have earlier identified at many fora.’’