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Promoting Job, Wealth Creation Via Creative Industry

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By most accounts, creative industry refers to a range of economic activities that are concerned with the generation or exploitation of knowledge and information.

It is a broad domain in which activities related to creative works’ design or production are carried out. Etymologists, however, maintain that term creative industry is synonymous with entertainment industry.

David Parrish, a creative industry management consultant, describes creative industry as “business with creativity’’.

Creative industry, according to him, comprises design, music, publishing, architecture, film and video, crafts, visual arts, fashion, television and radio services, advertising, literature, computer games as well as performing arts.

However, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) describes the “creative economy’’ as an emerging concept, which deals with the interface between creativity, culture, economics and technology in a contemporary world dominated by images, sounds, texts and symbols.

UNCTAD adopted a pragmatic approach in promoting creativity and innovation in Africa in 2008 when it organised a conference on the subject in Accra, Ghana, on April 2008.

The UNCTAD report on the status of the world’s creative industry affirms that the creative industry is one of the most dynamic sectors of the economy that is capable of creating jobs and wealth for the people.

It states that the sector provides new opportunities for developing countries to leapfrog into emerging high-growth areas of the world economy.

Moreover, the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sports says that creative industry originates from the people’s creativity, skills and talents, which all have the potential for creating wealth and jobs via the exploitation of the intellectual property.

These enlightened opinions tend to reinforce existing viewpoints that a well-harnessed creative industry has the potential of kick-starting the economic growth of many countries and empowering millions of people across the world.

Industry experts insist that there is no ceiling in efforts to harness the potential of the creative industry of any nation.

Nevertheless, Mr Afam Ezekude, the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), said that the intrinsic qualities of Nigeria’s creative industry could only be harnessed if the stakeholders resolved to do the right things in the right way.

In his remarks at the National Creativity Day Celebration in Abuja in April, Ezekude stressed that the NCC was carrying out a comprehensive study of the country’s creative industry so as to ascertain the exact worth of the sector in terms of job creation.

He noted that the preliminary findings of the study indicated that the film sector alone was capable of contributing N45 billion to the national economy if the potential of the sector was properly harnessed.

“There are strong indications that the projected N1 trillion-per-annum revenue from the sector could be exceeded.

“We are working in concert with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in the study to ascertain the value of the creative industry in our economy.

“From our preliminary findings, however, the film sector can contribute N45 billion to the economy, the software sector can contribute N250 billion; publishing sector, N100 billion; music, N80 billion; broadcasting, N25 billion; advertising, N20 billion, while ICT, textiles and jewellery can contribute N100 billion.

“This, in essence, means that the sector currently contributes less than 5 per cent of the projected sum to the nation’s economy,’’ he said.

“Therefore, it can aptly be deduced that the creative industry holds the key to the transformation of the economies of developed and developing countries of the world,’’ he added.

Ezekude, nonetheless, voiced concern about some factors that were hindering the growth of the creative sector; saying that the copyright laws of many developed and developing countries were weak, inefficient or non-existent in some cases.

“In Nigeria, for instance, the framework for the regulation and protection of intellectual property is weak and I have, on different occasions, drawn the stakeholders’ attention to this defect.

“The existing laws are not stringent enough to deter pirates from infringing on the rights of copyright owners in the country; there is the need to strengthen the laws.

“For example, N250, 000 is the highest fine ever imposed by a court in a single copyright infringement case in the history of the commission’s prosecution efforts.

“Other punishments, depending on the charges, attracted at most, six months jail for a copyright infringement and these penalties are too weak to deter potential bandits from perpetrating product piracy or counterfeiting,’’ he said.

Besides, Ezekude emphasised that the lack of prioritisation of copyright matters in Nigeria’s national development plans was another major factor inhibiting the development of the creative sector.

He conceded that the factor particularly contributed to problems such as limited financial and infrastructure resources, manpower constraints and inadequate public awareness.

“The uncooperative attitude of some stakeholders; slow judicial processes and weak border controls to check importation of pirated works were some of the factors hindering the growth of the creative industry,’’ he said.

Ezekude stressed that the existence of more than 15 product-replicating plants across the country underscored the need to urgently put in place an effective protection framework.

However, many stakeholders believe that Nigeria can derive a lot of economic benefits from the creative sector with the legendary exploits of writers such as Prof. Wole Soyinka and Prof. Chinua Achebe in the literary world.

They, however, bemoan the fact that the rich resources of the country’s film and music industry, pottery and earthenware as well as arts and crafts are not fully utilised for national development.

Mrs Clarah Dapira, an expert in creativity and rural development, said that many developing countries such as Thailand had adopted the creative industry as an alternative means of eliminating poverty at the grassroots.

She said that Thailand got the idea from Japan, as the Japanese government initiated the poverty eradication strategy in 1979.

“The approach is being replicated by many Asian countries such as Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand. Some African countries such as Malawi and Ethiopia have also adopted the strategy,’’ she said.

All the same, Ezekude said that Nigeria could develop and maximise the potential of its creative sector if an effective protection and regulatory framework was put in place to protect creative works from unauthorised users.

He stressed that efforts should be made to foster the growth of the country’s creative industry via purposeful legislation which would give the regulatory authorities the powers to curtail the aberrant activities of pirates.

Ezekude also underscored the need for more efficient and speedy judicial process in Nigeria, while ensuring stricter border controls to stem the importation of pirated works.

However, Mr Mike Akpa, NCC’s Director of Legal Services, said that the commission was making extra efforts to check piracy and stamp out imports of pirated products.

He said that apart from its periodic anti-piracy raids, the commission had also signed an agreement with an ICT company as part of plans to stimulate increased creativity in the industry.

Akpa noted that under the agreement, patent owners of creative works would now earn some money for the use of their works.

He assured all the stakeholders that the NCC would strive to protect the copyrights of inventors of creative works, in line with its zero-tolerance on piracy.

Akpa, nonetheless, stressed that the interests of all the copyright owners of creative works in the country were being promoted by the NCC via effective and decisive measures.

He said that the measures included the Copyright Notification Scheme, which was introduced to allow authors to have credible evidence of their copyrights.

Akpa, however, stressed the need to stimulate the citizens’ participation in programmes aimed at promoting the growth of the creative industry via pragmatic public awareness campaigns

He also urged all the stakeholders to work as a team in ongoing efforts to harness the potential of the creative industry for wealth creation.

Zoho writes for NAN

 

Jude Zoho

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CBN Releases N756bn To Over 3m Farmers To Boost Food Security

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says it has released the sum of N756.51 billion to 3,734,938 small holder farmers, cultivating 4.6 million hectares of land, to boost the Federal Government’s food security initiative.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, made this known while presenting a communiqué from the bank’s recently held, 280th meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
Emefiele said that N120.24 billion of the sum was extended for the 2021 wet season to 627,051 farmers for 847,484 hectares of land, under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
“The sum of N121.57 billion was disbursed to 32,617 beneficiaries.
“For the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), N318.17 billion was released to 679,422 beneficiaries, comprising 572,189 households and 107,233 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs),’’ he said.
Emefiele revealed that the apex bank also expended huge sums in its youth investment scheme, to empower Nigerian youths, and to reduce unemployment by providing to the creative sector and Information Technology.
“Under the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), the Bank released N3.0 billion to 7,057 beneficiaries, of which 4,411 were individuals and 2,646 SMEs.
“Under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), N3.22 billion was disbursed to 356 5 beneficiaries across movie production, movie distribution, software development, fashion, and IT verticals,’’ he said.
The CBN Governor also revealed that the apex bank had invested close to N1trillion to boost the real sector of the economy, covering 251 real sector projects.
He said that the bank’s intervention also spanned health sector support initiatives and electricity distribution.
“Under the N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility, the Bank released N923.41 billion to 251 real sector projects, of which 87 were in light manufacturing, 40 in agro-based industry, 32 in services and 11 in mining.
“On the N100 billion, Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility (HSIF), N98.41 billion was disbursed for 103 health care projects, of which, 26 are pharmaceuticals and 77 are in the hospital services.
“Similarly, the sum of N232.54 million was disbursed to five beneficiaries under the CBN Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention (Grant) Scheme (HSRDIS) for the development of testing kits and devices for COVID-19 and Lassa Fever.
“On the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP), N36.04 billion was disbursed to 17 Meter Asset Providers to nine Distribution Companies (DisCos), for the procurement and installation of 657,562 electricity meters,’’ Emefiele said.

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Siat Assures Host Communities Of Fair Deal … Offers 15 Varsity Students Scholarships

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As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to its host communities, an agro-allied company located in Rivers State, Siat Nigeria Limited, has assured that it would continue to cater for the wellbeing and needs of the indigenes of the communities where it is doing business even as it has offered undergraduate scholarship awards to 15 students from the areas.
The company, which gave the assurance during the presentation of scholarship awards to the students at its corporate headquarters in Ubima Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area recently, said it would continue to promote a harmonious working relationship with its host communities and strive as much as possible to contribute to their growth and development.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Felix Nwabuko, who gave the indication in an address during the company’s this year’s undergraduate scholarship programme, said the scholarship initiative is just one of the corporate social responsibility lined up by the company for its host communities.
According to him, the university scholarship award is intended to assist and encourage students of the host communities in the areas of Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Accounting and Engineering.
While congratulating the beneficiary students on their success during the scholarship examination, Nwabuko noted that they are by this award, ambassadors of not only their communities but Siat Nigeria Limited, and urged them to exhibit good behaviour throughout the duration of their university education.
“It is our fervent belief that the beneficiaries will avail themselves of this singular opportunity and study hard to become good citizens of not only the communities they came from but the society at large”, he said.
Nwabuko commended the government at both the state and local levels for providing the enabling environment for the company’s operations as well as the peace the firm has enjoyed from the host communities.
He noted with delight that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and its associated harsh economic effects, Siat Nigeria Limited did not lay off its workers like other companies including banks, stressing that it was because the company took into consideration the excellent relationship and goodwill it has with the host communities.
The beneficiaries of the scholarship were drawn from the company’s Ubima and Elele estates.
The first round of the scholarship programme took place in 2016 and the beneficiaries, according to the company, have all graduated.

By: Donatus Ebi

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AKK Project Will Enhance Gas Utilisation For Industrialisation – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says successful completion of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano, AKK Project in 2023 would enhance domestic gas utilisation as the mainstay for national industrialisation.
Buhari stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Gas Sector Stakeholders (AKK) Forum organised by the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria (GACN) yesterday in Kano.
He was represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.
“Today’s event reinforces our commitments to realizing the inherent potentials of gas usage as a national catalyst for achieving economic diversification from crude oil and as transition period to the renewable energy,” he said.
He revealed that the project would also increase government revenue and create more jobs opportunities for the unemployed Nigerians.
The President said that many companies had been shut down due to power supply problem across the country.
He explained that it would take two to three years to reactivate those industries to their optimal performance.
Buhari also said that the Federal Government has reduced the price of gas from 2 dollars 50 cents to 2 dollars 18 Cents.
“Let me use this medium to announce that following successful negotiations between Federal Government of Nigeria and organized unions, the price of gas has been reduced from $2.50 Cents to $2.18 Cents, with immediate effects,” he said.
He said that all the relevant stakeholders had been communicated on the issue.
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, said that the AKK project had been on the drawing board for the past 30 years.
Kyari said when completed, it would provide enough gas for both domestic and export purposes.
“Nigeria has huge gas resources, gas means prosperity and delivering gas is an opportunity creation,” he said.
He pointed out that the project would revive about 232 industries along AKK corridor.
In his remarks, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado-Bayero, commended the Federal Government for the project, which he said, would also assist to enhance socioeconomic activities in the state.

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