The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says Creative Industry is the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy in terms of business opportunities, employment generation, earnings as well as entertainment.
The minister disclosed this on Thursday in Madrid, Spain at the 11th edition of the Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (Investour) organised by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and CASA Africa.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the forum is on the sideline of the ongoing 2020 International Tourism Trade Fair (Fitur), one of the biggest tourism fairs worldwide that holds annually in Madrid.
Mohammed who was among the panelists at the forum said Nigeria has become the power-house of African creative industry with the film industry being one of the main output.
Other members of the panel are Sierra-leone Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr Memunatu Pratte, Zambia Minister of Tourism and Arts, Mr Ronald Chitotella and some investors from across the globe.
Mohammed noted that Creative Industry in general and the film sector, in particular, had become powerful tools for communicating the country’s culture, values and tradition with universal appeal and impact.
He said the Creative Industry is considered as a veritable platform for the propagation of cultural values, development initiatives and aspirations.
“It preserves culture from eroding and also protects and promotes our rich cultural heritage and national aspirations like marriage, costumes, dressing, music and other cultural practices.
Our ways of life: Our dressing, our food, our language, our dances, our music, etc are being projected – within and outside Nigeria – through the films by Nollywood.
“A Nigeria who travels to Zambia or Ghana should not be surprised when he is addressed as IGWE, a title used for chiefs in many Nollywood movies,” he said.
The minister said that Nollywood is also a good platform to project government policies and programmes, thereby playing a role in social mobilisation, unity and information dissemination, both locally and internationally.
“Nollywood is not just about entertainment. It is also a major driver of economic growth and job creation, especially for youths
“With over 2,000 movies produced annually, the opportunities are immense for wealth and job creation.
“Nollywood is growing very fast. 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 5,” he said.
The minister disclosed that with just three million people going to the Cinemas in 2019, the sub-sector alone generated N5.5 billion, excluding other ancilliaries like pop corn sales.
He said that 6,000 screens and 1,000 cinemas are required to serve the Nigerian population of about 200 million people.
The minister said that the potential impact of such growth included the creation of additional 1 million jobs and a GDP Growth contribution of three to five per cent.
He stressed that the Creative Industry is helping to create jobs with over one million people employed in the industry.