The Bank of Industry (BOI) is collaborating with the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) to improve structures in the country’s creative and entertainment industries, with a view to increasing the economic benefits that harnessing these industries would bring to Nigeria.
Stating this at a press briefing in Lagos, the acting Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, said this would aid both industries and the country in general to take full advantage of the abundant talents the country has in these areas, as well as save the nation’s huge foreign exchange spent on acquiring structures and facilities including studios.
Mr. Olagunju further pointed out that notwithstanding the little attention given to the entertainment sector, it still contributed about 1.42 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“In BOI’s paradigm shift, we have paid considerable attention to the creative industry because we are aware of its potential and contributions to the Nigerian economy under the rebased figured released recently; the industry contributes about 1.42 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP and this is without support. This shows that there is a lot more to be achieved if given the necessary support,” he said.
Regarding the structures needed to support the industry, Olagunju made the call to foreign and private investors to consider investments in the creative and entertainment industries, stating that it would help to create job opportunities as well as support other value chains in the sector.
He said, “We are assuring you that we will look at your proposals and evaluate them to see how best we can support this process. We have talents in Nigeria but what we are lacking are mainly structures. The National Copyright Commission is doing its best to ensure that intellectual property right is protected.
“If we get things right, this partnership will not only help us to conserve foreign exchange but will also help us to attract foreign exchange and put up structures that are of world-class standards.”
In their response, the Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mr. Mike Dada, said the objective of AFRIMA was to create an opportunity to communicate the identity of Africa and fashion out means to increase the industry’s contribution to national GDPs across Africa.
“AFRIMA is in partnership with the Africa Union because we observed that the creative sector has tremendous impact on Africa’s GDP which we have barely scratched its surface. We are also calling for support from both the public and private sectors in this regard,” he added.
The Director, Brand Communications and Sponsorship, AFRIMA, Mrs. Matlou Tsotetsi, said that part of AFRIMA’s effort to drive growth in the sector had been its quest to get partnerships from the private and public sectors to key into the initiative.