The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday inaugurated the post-COVID-19 Initiative Committee to rebound the creative industry from the effects of the novel pandemic.
At the virtual inauguration in his office in Abuja, the Minister charged members of the committee to recommend measures to safe jobs, lives and reposition the industry to take its rightful place in the economy.
Mohammed said: “Ladies and gentlemen, the Creative Industry is a very critical sector of the nation’s economy and a major plank of the economic diversification policy of this Administration.
“It creates the highest number of jobs after Agriculture, especially for the youth.
“It is therefore imperative for us to have a collective and government-supported approach in dealing with the immediate, short and long term economic stimulus and initiatives for the industry, in order to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the sector.”
Mohammed, who had announced the establishment of the committee two weeks back, disclosed that its members had been expanded to include as many sectors as possible.
He said the essence of the expansion was to ensure a fair representation of more sectors in the industry.
The Minister assured that while the committee could not accommodate all members of the industry, all members would benefit from its work.
He implored the entire industry to support the committee to rebound the industry.
He said: “COVID-19 pandemic has impacted negatively on the nation and the Creative Industry has been particularly hard hit, considering the fact that it is an industry that has people-interaction at its core.
“All hands must, therefore, be on deck so the industry can rebound.
“I want to thank all those who have made comments and observations on the
composition of the committee.
‘This shows the great interest that the entire industry has in the work of the panel.”
Mohammed listed the terms of reference of the committee to include assessment of the expected impact of the pandemic on the industry in general.
He said the committee should advise the Government on how to mitigate job and revenue losses in the sector as well as create succour for the industry’s small businesses.
He said the committee is also to suggest the type of taxation and financing that would be best for the industry to encourage growth and as well advice the Government on any other measure or measures that could be undertaken to support the industry.
The 22-member committee is chaired by Ali Baba, representing the Comedy, Film and TV sub-sector, while Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria is the Vice Chairman.
Anita Eboigbe is the Secretary, while other members included Bolanle Austen-Peters, Charles Novia, Segun Arinze, Ali Jita and Baba Agba.
Kene Okwuosa, Efe Omoregbe, Prince Daniel Aboki, Chioma Ude, Olumade Adesemowo, Dare Art Alade, Oliver Enwonwu and Alhaji Saleh Rabo are also members of the committee.
Others are Bala Hassan, Ali Nuhu, Tajudeen Owoyemi, B.M. Dzukogi, TY Bello and Lanre Da Silva Ajayi.
The Minister assured that the recommendations of the committee would be implemented to reposition the industry.
Responding on behalf of other members of the committee, the Chairman thanked the Minister for according the creative industry the importance it deserves and for considering them worthy of the appointment.
Ali Baba requested for additional one week to the four weeks given by the minister for the committee to submit its report because of the constraints of COVID-19 lockdown.
He assured that all the sector and sub-sector of the creative industry would be carried along and their interests captured in the course of the assignment.