Nigeria targets N3trn from creative industry

Solomon Chung, Abuja

The Nigerian Government can realize over three trillion naira in Value Added Tax and income from the country’s creative industry.

This is according to the President of the Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria, Mr. Pretty Okafor.

He revealed this when he led members of the association to pay a courtesy call on the country’s Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed in his office in Abuja on Friday.

Okafor also disclosed that the industry is losing over N10 trillion to national and global piracy. He then sought for a partnership with the federal government tagged; PMAN and Buhari administration,: A partnership for change.

“The Nigerian creative industry which is the largest in Africa with a projection to be the largest in the world soon is assessed a worth of N15 trillion and employs well over 12.5 million people and if everything is put in place, the figure can be tripled.”

Mr. Okafor then suggested that government assist in multi-agency monitoring and enforcement of bar coding, from January 2017, to help curb piracy.

The association also suggested that a creative economy summit be organized in Nigeria as well as set aside a day for anti-piracy campaigns in the country.

Responding, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said the industry was an untapped goldmine with a huge potential to create jobs and rake in revenue for the government.

He said the industry had suffered neglect and all the good things that were birthed by the industry, were due to share determination, believe and resilience of the actors.

“Before now in Nigeria the creative industry was seen as an unserious venture. But now that it has become a money spinner, people are getting interested. There is a need for both government and the private sector to come in and invest. The private sector should invest while government provides the enabling environment.”

He also agreed with their position that piracy had affected the growth of the industry and suggested that with the ongoing digitization from analogue to digital in the broadcast industry, the association should be rest assured that piracy would be defeated.

He described the partnership as a win-win for both government and the members of PMAN, as the members were going to make more money, while government would rake in more revenue from taxes.

He then charged them to collaborate with the Ministry in the upcoming National Re-orientation campaign tagged; Change begins with me.

According to him, they are popular role models and using them as message sources would work a great deal in the national campaign.