The creative industry potential to generate high revenue for the government, create job opportunities and assist in national integration have been deduced as reasons why the federal government should jerk up its funding.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar advocated for the increase in funding to the industry on Saturday in Lagos.
He promised that if he becomes the next president, the industry, which comprises of fashion, film, music, popular media and many more, will get premium attention.
Artistes, actors, writers and other creative workers under the auspices of the Nigeria’s Creative Cultural Innovative Industry, in the country who held a round table discussion on the digitized future with Atiku laid out their challenges, majorly, as lack of funding.
Other problems they enumerated were: piracy, lack of political will on the part of government, internal marginalization of Northern actors who are given less prominent roles in films and the failure of digital broadcasting to fully take off.
More problems they listed were: favoritism in adverts allocations to their practitioners, lack of government incentives and on implementation of an existing ‘ well articulated ’ culture and film policies.
“This is a very vital industry , essentially a live wire, for our economy. It is not a sector to be neglected. I would want you and I to identify the challenges you are facing and together proffer solutions,” responded.
“I knows that the industry is not very well encouraged. I own media outfits on which I spend a lot and record lots of losses. I want you to regard me as one of you. When I was in government we set aside funding the industry, for which I understand access became difficult. I will increase funding and make it available if I am voted into office.
“ I reject CBN’s intervention in the matter of access. This should be made easier. Government should not be the only source of funding. We need to encourage the private sector to be part of this venture,” Atiku said.
He commended the presentations and patriotic zeal of the entertainers despite the obstacles they face, saying he is ready to stay longer than planned to partner with them in the near future.
“I am excited to meet you and look forward to a very close collaboration. This industry can create billions revenue and generate incomes as well as jobs. It is an industry dominated by women and men; not men and women. I believe if we work together, we can make it.
Ex Vice President Atiku was at the occasion with his Vice Presidential candidate, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state, the national chairman of the PDP, Prof. Iyorchia Ayu, the Director General of the Atiku Campaign Organization, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Dr Bukola Saraki and Liyel Imoke.
Also at the meeting we’re Sen. Idris Umar, Sen. Lee Maeba, Sen. Dino Melaye, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and Ken Imasuagbon. Former Governor of Adamawa state, Mr Boni Haruna and erstwhile Deputy Governor of Sokoto state, Alhaji Mukhtar Shagari and ex Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe were at the event.
Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the Governor