The National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) has called on the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, to position the creative industry as an economic mainstay in Nigeria.
The association made the call in a statement it issued yesterday in Lagos on “positioning the creative industry as an economic mainstay in Nigeria.”
The association, in a statement signed by its president, Israel Eboh, raised the need for a stand-alone ministry for culture and tourism.
It said such decision has the potential to take Nigeria out of the economic woods. “The creative ability and will to excel of the average Nigerian have never been in doubt, what has always been lacking is the will on the part of government to harness this energy for national benefit.”It called on the president-elect to give Nigeria a truly creative industry and provide the catalyst needed to drive a new, and alternative source of revenue for a viable and sustainable economic growth.
The association noted: “As you prepare to take over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria, come May 29, 2023. At the heart of these many challenges are the economic downturn and the high level of unemployment among the different levels of the Nigerian population, insecurity, political and religious intolerance.”
The association insisted that overcoming these challenges, therefore, requires a leader who will be bold, daring, and innovative, with ideas and actions planned and built on the desire to develop and grow alternative industries and sectors that will grow the economy, create employment and reduce youth restiveness.”
The association said the Nigerian creative industry has grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade and has become a key contributor to the Nigerian GDP, creating employment and taking many Nigerians from the poverty ladder.
“Statistics show that in 2020, the creative industry accounted for over 730 billion Naira of Nigeria’s GDP, provided 2.4 million jobs, with a projection to gross over 15 billion dollars and create additional 2.9 million jobs by 2025.
“These figures take on greater significance when we take into account the lack of will on the part of successive governments to create a conducive environment for the sector to thrive, through enabling laws, infrastructural development, funding platforms that bridge the funding gaps experienced by industry players, and creating a Ministry of Culture and Tourism built on technical know-how that can bring about the required development that turns the creative industry into an economic powerhouse and employment generator that rivals oil and gas, telecommunications and agriculture as is obtainable in India, Brazil and the United States.”
The association said, “while we align ourselves with your vision to make the creative and entertainment industry stronger and more economically viable and relevant to the socio-economic development of the country, it is our sincere plea that now more than ever is the time to walk the talk by taking definite steps and actions that will develop and grow the industry to the standards that make it a global competitor.”