Acting President Yemi Osibanjo on Monday in Lagos said that the Federal Government would grant tax relief to investors in the creative industry.
Osibanjo disclosed this at the opening of a two-day Creative Industry Summit with the theme, “Financing the Film, Television and Music Industries”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture in conjunction with Think Thank Media and Advertising.
The Acting President, who was represented by the Minister of Finance, Dr Kemi Adeosun, said that government is passionate about the creative industry and would continue to support it.
“The creative industry in Nigeria is a significant player in the economy. It is an industry that represents 1.42 of our GDP and has a huge export earning and in its own right employs millions of people. This is an extremely important sector,” he said.
Osibanjo said that the creative industry contribution to the GDP is impressive when compared to the 11 per cent contribution of the oil sector to the GDP.
He added that the contribution was also significant considering the fact that government had not invested so much in it as it has done on other sectors.
“The creative industry represents everything about Nigeria: It is diverse, it is universal, non religious, non tribal and this is one of the strength of the industry.
“The government needs to come and take note on how stakeholders have achieved that much for the industry without significant support from the government,” he said.
He said that in supporting the industry, government would increase the revenue strength of the sector to make it bankable and give tax incentives to investors.
“One of the things we are to address is direct government funding. Government will provide tax relief for those who are ready to venture into the creative industry.
“While government is running around to see how it can collect more taxes, we are also looking at ways to give incentives to people to encourage them to invest.
“We will look at a situation where we can create a pool of financing for the industry,” he said.
Osibanjo, however, said that government would be cautious in funding the sector in order to maintain the creativity of the sector.
He said the administration would explore sustainable loans that are easily accessible and recyclable for the development of the industry.
Osibanjo stressed the readiness of the government to support the industry in its march toward creating a niche for the country in the global arena.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the summit was organised to proffer solutions to the challenges of financing films, television and music industries.
He said that the Creative Industry is a major plank of the Government’s economic diversification efforts and his ministry had been doing a lot to transform the industry.
The Minister said that with the support of government and the cooperation of stakeholders, the creative industry would create one million jobs in three years.
For a better society