Remarks By The Honorable Minister of Information & Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed at the 6th African Music Awards (AFRIMA) 2019

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,giving his remarks at the 2019 edition of AFRIMA, early Sunday at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

Let me say that I am glad to be here among the very best in the entertainment industry, both from here in Nigeria and across Africa.

2.   Though I sent a representative to the opening of this year’s African Music Awards (AFRIMA), I want to, once again, warmly welcome to Nigeria all our brothers and sisters from across Africa, including from here in Naija. I do hope you have had a good time, leading to this award ceremony.

3.  Please permit me to congratulate the organizers of AFRIMA on another successful hosting of this prestigious awards. Judging by the giant strides of the industry locally and internationally, and the popularity that it is generating, we are probably only just about getting into its glory years.

4.   A lot goes into making an industry. For the Creative industry, it is the artistes, the managers, platforms, agents, marketers, investors and of course the event organisers, which include Award events and concerts. So, thank you, AFRIMA, for playing your role in the explosion, development and success of first, our Afrobeat, and African Music in general.

5.  As we head into 2020, the successful commercialization of the Creative industry is our number 1 priority. It will create jobs, reduce crime, be a major source of foreign exchange and thereby reduce our dependence on oil, rebrand our country internationally and boost our GDP.

6. So, we in government are tackling all impediments to the industry thriving. We are making cheaper and longer term financing available for the industry, especially for infrastructural projects, like Concert halls across the 6 geo-political zones of the country, as recently announced by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

7.  The collecting society issues that have plagued collective administrations have now been put on the front burner by the Attorney General. People who use music must pay for it, no more excuses. The other big issue for commercialization is the digital economy – data must be cheaper and owners of content must make more money from the use of their works. I am sure you have been following the announcements by my colleague, the Minister of Communications, on this.

8.  We are also cleaning up the advertising industry and making sure proper Measurement of content exist and are collated. This promises to add at least 50 billion Naira annually to the Creative Sector. We will continue to play our role in government and make sure the business of music works for all hard working folks who engage in it.

9.  Once again, congrats to the organizers of AFRIMA and congrats to all nominees and awardees tonight. Do have a good evening.