VP Shettima Promises More Inclusiveness to Nigeria’s Creative Industry

Timothy Choji, Abuja.

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Nigeria’s Vice President Kashim Shettima has restated the resolve of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration to ensure a more inclusive and prosperous future for the country’s creative economy.
According to him, the current administration is poised to amplify the voices of Nigeria’s creative minds, empower the nation’s best talents, and harness the unconstrained potential within the country’s ‘diverse cultural tapestry’.
The vice president gave the assurance on Tuesday while addressing key players and stakeholders in the nation’s creative and entertainment industry during the Art, Culture, and Creative Economy Roundtable – A Creative Industry Intervention – organized by the Ministry of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“This roundtable is an avenue for us to deliberate and recommit ourselves to fostering an environment that nurtures creativity, innovation, and inclusivity. 
“More than ever, we see the need to amplify the voices of our creative minds, empower our best talents, and harness the unbridled potential that lies within the folds of Nigeria’s diverse cultural tapestry.
“This round-table discussion isn’t just for us to chart a course that celebrates our past achievements. It’s for us to pave the way for an even brighter, more inclusive, and prosperous future for Nigeria’s creative economy. 
“It is through such synergy that we shall continue to ascend to greater heights and cement Nigeria’s rightful place as the unrivalled creative powerhouse of Africa,” said the VP, hinging his speech on ‘Nigeria’s Creative Roadmap to the Future’.
The VP told the industry’s stakeholders and key players that the Tinubu administration is set to make real its promise to turn the Nigerian creative industry into a critical segment of the global economy.
Describing President Tinubu as the architect of Nigeria’s entertainment industry, Vice President Shettima said it is for this reason the president is referred to as ‘City Boy’.
“Thankfully, your president is the architect of the nation’s entertainment hub, and there’s a reason your industry refers to him as ‘City Boy’.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not only cosmopolitan, a man of arts and culture in tune with the realities of your industry, but he has also acknowledged your industry as a critical segment of the global economy.
“So, we are here to make true our promise to you and let you know that the time has come for your industry to be at the negotiation table in Abuja,” said VP Shettima.

VP Shettima also tendered a passionate apology to members of the creative and entertainment sector over neglect by past administrations, which he said left them with no option but to build the industry with minimal support from the government.

Accordingly, he reiterated the firm resolve of the Tinubu administration to maximize the potential of the nation’s creative economy.
Earlier, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President (Office of the Vice President), Ibrahim Hadejia, said the initiative by the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, was part of the Tinubu administration’s efforts to build and nurture a viable working relationship between the public and private sectors in the creative industry.
He noted that the whole idea was to strengthen Nigeria’s position as the global centre for arts, culture and creativity, leveraging available resources within and outside the country to achieve set objectives.

The Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hajiya Hannatu Musawa, gave an overview of the ministry’s vision and agenda for the creative sector, which is partly encapsulated in the ‘Destination 2023, Nigeria Everywhere’ initiative – a soft power programme to showcase Nigeria’s abundant talents in the creative sector.

According to the minister, the plan is to firmly establish Nigeria as the leading global hub for arts, culture and creativity.
“With this initiative, we are going to change the narrative about Nigeria globally,” she said reassuringly.
She added that by leveraging legislative, regulatory and intellectual property reforms, the country can witness a significant increase in the creative sector’s contributions to the GDP within a short period.
On private sector engagements, the minister said, in recognition of the importance of the private sector, “we are shifting our programme from focusing on just financing to comprehensive ecosystem support.” 
The Managing Director of Providus Bank, Mr Walter Akpani, commended the vice president for supporting the birthing of the initiative and other planned interventions in the creative sector, noting that it would positively impact the economy and image of Nigeria globally.
Dignitaries at the event included the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Simon Lalong and the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu.
The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Mr Charles Odii, and representatives of partners in the project, which comprises the CEO of Prembly, Mr Lanre Ogunbe, and Managing Director of Leadway Pensure, Mr Lanre Idris, were also present, among others.
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