Lai Mohammed in Spain, woos investors to Nigeria’s Creative Industry

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has urged investors to take advantage of the burgeoning opportunities in the nation’s Creative Industry, which he described as the fastest
growing sector of the nation’s economy, in terms of business
opportunities, employment, earnings and entertainment.

The Minister made the pitch at the 11th Tourism Investment and
Business Forum for Africa (Investour), which was held on the sidelines
of the ongoing International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) in Madrid,
Spain, on Thursday.

He said the sector currently employs about 1 million people, directly
and indirectly, and has the potential to employ millions more, with
the much-needed investment.

Lai Mohammed in Spain,  woos investors to Nigeria's Creative Industry
Lai Mohammed and others

”Nollywood, for example, is not just about entertainment. It is also
a major driver of economic growth and job creation, especially for
youths and women,” Mohammed said. ”With over 2,000 movies
produced annually, the opportunities are immense for wealth and job
creation.”

He said though the growth in the area of cinemas, for example, has
been impressive, it is yet a tip of the iceberg.

”In 2014, Nigeria had just 23 cinemas, 100 screens and three digital
platforms. By 2018-2019, the cinemas
have grown to 51, the screens to 184 and the digital platforms to
five. Now, this is just a tip of the iceberg, considering that 6,000
screens and 1,000 cinemas are required to serve the Nigerian
population of about 200 million people,” the Minister said.

He said the potential impact of such growth includes the creation of
additional 1 million jobs and a GDP growth
contribution of 3 to 5 per cent.

Mohammed, who served as a panellist at the event, said the
nation also boasts of a very vibrant and popular music industry which
not only reflects her cultural richness, but has over the years
translated into international recognition and acceptance.

”The Nigeria music revenue grew from about $36 million in 2014 to $53
million in 2018 and is projected to hit $86 million in 2021, making it
the biggest in the region,” he said, noting that a chunk of the
figure comes from digital music consumption, an area of the market
which significantly boosted the industry in Nigeria and paved the way
for local artists to thrive.

In the area of fashion, the Minister put the earnings at over N4
trillion of Nigeria’s re-based GDP (National Bureau of Statistics,
2018), and described arts and crafts as another growing area of the
Creative Industry.

He said with a rich food diversity, Nigeria could also leverage on
gastronomy to grow its tourism and create job, especially for women
who, he said, dominate the sector.

”It offers opportunities for communities to integrate tourism and
local food systems in order to promote economic activities. Gastronomy
tourism contributes positively to many levels of the tourism value
chain, such as agriculture and local food manufacturing and provides a
platform for the promotion of cultures through their cuisine,”
Mohammed said.

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