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In Madrid, Information Minister woos investors to Nigeria

27th Jan, 2020 | By Nkechi Isa | ||

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has urged investors to take advantage of the budding opportunities in the nation's creative Industry, describing it as the fastest growing sector of the nation's economy in terms of business opportunities, employment, earnings and entertainment.

The Minister made the call at the 11th Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa Investors which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday. He said the sector currently employs about one million people, directly and indirectly, and has potential to employ millions more, with the much-needed investment.

Mohammed said: ''Nollywood, for example, is not just about entertainment. It is also a major driver of economic growth and job creation, especially for the youth and women. With over 2,000 movies produced annually, the opportunities are immense for wealth and job creation.'' He said though the growth in the area of cinemas, for example, has been impressive, it is yet a tip of the iceberg.

''In 2014, Nigeria had just 23 cinemas, 100 screens and three digital platforms. By 2018-2019, the cinemas have grown to 51, the screens to 184 and the digital platforms to five. Now, this is just a tip of the iceberg, considering that 6,000 screens and 1,000 cinemas are required to serve the Nigerian population of about 200 million people,'' the Minister said. According to him, the potential impact of such growth includes the creation of additional one million jobs and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth contribution of three to five per cent.

Alhaji Mohammed, who served as a panelist at the event, said the nation also possesses a very vibrant and popular music industry which not only reflects her cultural richness, but has over the years translated into international recognition and acceptance. ''The Nigeria music revenue grew from about $36 million in 2014 to $53 million in 2018 and is projected to hit $86 million in 2021, making it the biggest in the region,'' he said, noting that a chunk of the figure comes from digital music consumption, an area of the market which significantly boosted the industry in Nigeria and paved the way for local artists to thrive.

In the area of fashion, the Minister put the earnings at over N4 trillion of Nigeria's re-based GDP and described arts and crafts as another growing area of the creative Industry. He said with rich food diversity, Nigeria could also leverage gastronomy to grow its tourism and create jobs, especially for women who, he said, dominate the sector. ''It offers opportunities for communities to integrate tourism and local food systems in order to promote economic activities. Gastronomy tourism contributes positively to many levels of the tourism value chain such as agriculture and local food manufacturing and provides a platform for the promotion of cultures through their cuisine,'' Alhaji Mohammed said.

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