Nigeria unveils $1m venture capital to boost creative industry

Solomon Chung, Lagos

L-R: Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who represented the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the host Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the opening of the two-day Creative Industry Financing Conference in Lagos on Monday
 The Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has announced the establishment of  $1m as venture capital to boost the country’s creative industry.

The Minister made the announcement at the opening of the two-day Creative Industry Financing Conference holding in Lagos, saying 20 people, each investing $50,000, are expected to help make up the required amount.

He said so far, five people have volunteered to invest $50,000 each, and expressed optimism that more investors will come forward.

Mohammed said the $1-million Venture Capital would provide seed money for young and talented Nigerians to set up businesses in the Creative Industry.

The Minister said the conference, which is being jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and Think Tank Media, was conceived with a view to taking the Creative Industry into a golden era of smooth access to short and long term financing.

”From my interactions with Industry stakeholders since assuming office, one issue has stuck out like a sore thumb: lack of access to financing is a major bane of the Industry. Instead of just lamenting over this, we have decided to tackle the problem headlong, hence the decision to host this conference.

”I have no doubt that at the end of the series of events here, we will be able to come out with a way forward that will surely boost the Industry,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said the government was paying a great attention to the Creative Industry because of its capacity to create 1 million jobs in three years, boost the economy and allow the creative talents of the youths to blossom.

He listed the efforts so far made to re-position and transform the
Industry as including the landmark National Summit on Culture and
Tourism, held in Abuja last year; the Creative Industry Roundtable
held in Lagos last week, and the MoUs signed with the Tony Elumelu
Foundation, the British Council and the Bank of Industry.

The conference was declared open by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar; Minister of Information and Communication from the Republic of Niger, Hadjia Koubra Sani and many Industry stakeholders, including Film and Music Producers, Artists, Copyright lawyers, representatives of Banks and journalists, are attending the conference