Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s speech at the creative industry roundtable in Lagos on Monday July 10, 2017

Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, addressing participants at the Creative Industry Roundtable in Lagos on Monday.


Permit me to start by thanking you all, most sincerely, for honouring
our invitation to this Roundtable. I am particularly impressed that many who did not get the invitation, for one reason or the other, personally contacted me for rectification. This goes to confirm the passion and zeal of the stakeholders in the Creative Industry to move the sector forward. Once again, thank you all.

I have called this Roundtable for one reason only: To fast-track our main objective of transforming the Creative Industry to a Creative Economy. That’s the over-arching objective, against the background of this Administration’s intention of supporting and facilitating an enabling environment for the true business growth of the creative sector.

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 realized within a short time.

Let me be clear. This Roundtable is not intended as another talk shop.
Far from it. 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.

In this regard, this Roundtable will provide the stakeholders the
opportunity to engage in business-focused discussions, with a view to initiating/enabling private sector-led growth and development of the Creative Industry. We will dialogue and engage key industry personnel on the business of the Creative sector, while addressing key issues affecting the sector such as Intellectual property rights, Piracy, Education, Poverty, Power Supply, Security, Access to Finance, Distribution Infrastructure, Technical Competence, Film Content, Multiple Taxation and Multi-Level Regulation

The Roundtable is also expected to highlight international best practices that would enhance the business of the sector, e.g. Bench-marking Standards, Case Studies/Best Practice, Associations & Guilds, exchanging the cutting-edge ideas in the sector and then, in line with what I said earlier, proffering solutions in all the areas of concern.

May I reiterate that those invited to this Roundtable have been carefully selected on account of their current role /experience /expertise/impact in the Creative Industry and based on their contribution to the sector in various areas: Capacity to finance/Sponsor industry initiatives; Experience in Policy development; Owning or working in a significant corporate company with noteworthy creative industry impact; Possessing international policy experience or exposure; Financing major creative industry production(s); Experience or skill in developing legislation and/or laws and Passion for the Nigeria Creative Industry

The MD/CEO, Filmhouse Cinemas, Mr. Kene Mparu, who has worked with us tirelessly to make this Rountable a reality, will give an overview of the programme shortly. Before then, however, let me say that this is the latest effort in this Administration’s unstoppable determination to move the Creative Industry from the fringes to the mainstream of the economy. Recall that we are already working with the Tony Elumelu Foundation, The Bank of Industry and the British Council. We have existing MoUs with all three to build capacity, create jobs and ensure financing for the industry, among others. Fortunately for us, Mr. Elumelu himself will be here this afternoon to give us his own perspective on the critical issues facing the Industry.

Still on our efforts to far, I am happy to announce that we have struck a global tripartite partnership that will give the Creative Industry in Nigeria a big boost. Under the partnership, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the global news leader CNN will use the film industry as a lens through which we will project various aspects of the Nigerian Culture, Tourism and similar areas. 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.

Let me reiterate what I have said at many fora, that the Creative Industry is Nigeria’s new oil. This is an empirical statement, rather than a mere jive. The experience from other lands confirms this.

The Creative industry contributed 84.1 billion Pounds Sterling to the
British economy in 2014. According to figures released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, that was an increase of 7 billion pounds on the year before. The figures also show that the number of jobs in the industry grew by almost 9% between 2013 and 2014 – almost double the rest of the economy as a whole (4.6%). One of the areas of strongest growth was in film, TV, video, radio and photography, which rose almost 14%. Also, the UK’s Creative Industry contributes almost 90 billion Pounds to GDP; it accounts for one in 11 jobs, a rate rising more quickly than all other parts of the economy.
These jobs are also among the least likely to be lost to automation.

In the United States, the Creative Industry, including Hollywood and
broadcasting, contributes more to the U.S. economy than previously
thought, the government said in its first official analysis of the arts and culture sector’s economic value. The 2015 report from the National Endowment for the Arts and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows arts and culture contributed more than 698 billion dollars to the economy, which is about 4.32 percent of U.S. goods and services.
Note that the study of the creative sector’s contribution to U.S. gross domestic product is based on 2012 data, meaning it could be higher even today.

Globally, the Creative Industry generated $2,250 billion in revenues (that is 3% of world GDP), according to a 2015 study by Ernst & Young on the economic and social contribution of cultural and Creative industry around the world. The highest earners were television ($477 billion), newspapers and magazines ($354 billion) and visual arts ($391 billion). Revenue from Creative industry exceeded those of telecommunications services (which comes in at $1,570 billion globally), and even surpassed the entire GDP of India ($1,900 billion). The Creative industry generated 29.5 million jobs, which employ about 1% of the world’s active population. The top three employers are visual arts (6.73 million employees), books (3.67. million) and music (3.98 million). The Creative industry also employs more people than the automotive industry in the United States, Europe and Japan combined.

You can now see, ladies and gentlemen, while this Administration has remained dogged in its determination to grow the Creative Industry.
Permit me to round off by saying that our deliberations here today
will feed into a larger event, Creative Industry Financing Conference, slated for 17-18 July at the Eko Hotel, which we are organizing in partnership with the Think Tank Media. To highlight the importance attached to this sector by the Federal Government, no less a personality than the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, will declare that Conference open. I expect all of you here to also attend that Conference.

On that note, I wish you all fruitful deliberations and I thank you for your kind attention.