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Nigeria partners with CNN, WTO to boost creative industry

The Federal Government has struck a global tripartite partnership with UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the global news leader, CNN to boost the nation’s creative industry.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this at the Creative Industry Roundtable held on Monday in Lagos.

The minister, who declared the round table opened, said that the partnership would give the nation’s creative industry a big boost.

He said under the partnership, his Ministry, UNWTO and CNN would use the film industry as a lens to project various aspects of the Nigerian culture, tourism and similar areas.

He said they would kick start the project with a 13-episode production showcasing the various stages in movie production.

“The productions include the choice of location, which will allow us to showcase the various beautiful sceneries available in Nigeria.

“It will showcase the choice of wardrobe to show the rich options in the country’s fashion industry and the choice of sound track that will highlight our rich music genres

“The casting will showcase our abundant talents and the technical part will provide the platform to show that there is no camera and other gadgets that we don’t have here,” he said.

The minister said that, as part of the project, his ministry would run a programme on CNN showcasing the 20 Nigerians to watch in the creative industry.

He said the Nigerians to be showcased would be selected by the industry players to ensure authenticity.

Mohammed reiterated government’s position to transform the creative industry to “Nigeria’s new oil”.

“This is an empirical statement, rather than a mere jive and the experience from other lands confirms this,” he said.

As parts of the dogged determination to grow the industry, Mohammed also disclosed that his ministry would be organising a Creative Industry Financing Conference between July 17 and July 18 in Lagos.

He said the conference organised in partnership with the Think Tank Media would be declared open by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

The minister said that he called the Roundtable to fast-track the transformation of the Creative Industry.

He reiterated the government readiness to support the industry and facilitate the enabling environment for the true business growth of the creative sector.

“The Roundtable will provide the stakeholders the opportunity to engage in business-focused discussions.

“The stakeholders are to initiate private sector-led growth and development of the creative Industry.

“We will dialogue and engage key industry personnel on the business of the creative sector, while addressing key issues affecting the sector.

“The Roundtable is also expected to highlight international best practices that would enhance the business of the sector,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Folorunso Coker, the Director General of Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), identified access to fund as one of the major challenges of the industry.

He said the stakeholder should push for acceptance of content as collateral for funding of creative works as it was being done in other climes.

Coker also advocated public policy reform for harmonisation of multi level regulatory institutions in the creative industry.

He decried huge infrastructure gap, which he said was holding the industry from developing.

According to him, China built about 40,000 cinemas in the last six years, whilst Nigeria has about 130 screens.

The round table broke into technical session after the opening remarks.

Some of the personalities at the event were Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture.

Also at the event were Nollywood Thespian, Saint Obi, Mo Abudu of Ebony Life, Bolanle Austen-Peters, Tajudeen Adepetu, Obi Asika and Ken Mkparu .

(Source: NAN)

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