Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the Federal Government, through its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), is targeting to generate at least $1 billion by the end of 2020 from the entertainment and creative industry.
According to him, this is in line with the Federal Government’s diversification policy that seeks to explore the non-oil sector, especially with the entertainment and creative sector reported to have contributed 2.3 percent, approximately N239 billion, to Nigeria’s GDP in 2016.
The Vice President said this at the relaunch of The Dome, a first class recreational and entertainment facility in Abuja, at the weekend.
According to Osinbajo, The Dome gives credence to government’s position that the non-oil sector is where Nigeria’s future lies.
He said gains recorded, owing to deliberate policies on ease of doing business in Nigeria, have accounted for favourable ratings through the World Bank Global Index report on ease of doing business.
“Investments like The Dome, Abuja is what Nigeria needs to push for a similar status with Dubai, which, despite being an oil producer, makes only 20 percent revenue from oil,” he said.
Chairman, The Dome Entertainment Centre, Obiora Okonkwo, noted that, with the unemployment index expected to rise above 50 percent, including a soaring population figure projected to hit 200 million by 2019, venture capitalists like himself have taken it upon themselves to salvage the situation.
Okonkwo, however, insisted that the need for tax holidays cannot be understated if the private sector must assist government meet its objectives of better welfare for the citizenry.
“I use this opportunity to invite government to partner with The Dome in its social empowerment programme for youths. The Dome is well positioned to drive the policy and bring about the change we crave,” Okonkwo said.
“Government must assist businesses such as ours to grow through generous tax breaks to enable us stabilize.”
The Dome, which now boast of over 300 staff, recently recapitalised its assets to expand its recreational outlets.
The Dome now comprises the Summit Bar and Restaurant, the Wesley Snipes Lounge, The Satchmo Cigar Lounge.
For families that have fun together, the new look Dome returns with the Noni’s Pizzeria, Camelot Spa & Gym, a bowling alley and the newly introduced, the Francis boutique hotel.
Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Lai Mohammed, Chris Uche, Senator Joy Emordi, Senator Ike Obiora, and members of the diplomatic corps, were also in attendance.
Notable comedian, Ali Baba, who was the compere for the night.
The high point of the night was the official commissioning of The Dome by Osinbajo.
He was later conducted around the massive entertainment complex immediately after he cut the red tape and unveiled the commemorative plaque for the launch.