Speech by The HMIC, Alh. Lai Mohammed, At The Virtual Inauguration of the Post-Covid-19 Initiatives Committee For The Creative Industry

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Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to this virtual inauguration of the Post-Covid-19 Initiatives Committee for the Creative Industry. I want to most sincerely thank you all for making it to this virtual meeting. It’s a sign of the times that we are meeting via this medium and, with Covid-19 still raging, we should continue to leverage on this platform for our interactions.

2.   Two weeks ago, I announced the establishment of this committee.
In doing so, I said the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted negatively on the nation, and that the Creative Industry has been particularly hard hit, considering the fact that it is an industry that has people-interaction at its core. I also said that instead of addressing these problems piecemeal, we should do so holistically for a more positive outcome.

3.   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.

4.   The Committee’s membership, as announced two weeks ago, has now been expanded to include as many sectors as possible. This is to ensure a fair representation. However, while the committee cannot accommodate all members of the industry, it is certain that all members will benefit from its work. I therefore want to implore the entire industry to support this committee. This is no time for division. All hands must 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.

5.   The Committee has been given the following Terms of Reference:

–    Assess the expected impact of the pandemic on the industry in general

–    Advise the Government on how to mitigate job and revenue losses in the sector as well as to create succour for the industry small businesses

–   Suggest the type of taxation and financing that is best for the industry at this time to encourage growth

–   Advise the Government on any other measure or measures that can be undertaken to support the industry.

6.  Please permit me to list the entire membership of the committee.

1.     Ali Baba – Comedy, Film and TV (Chairman)

2.     Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim – Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON) – Vice Chairman

3.       Bolanle Austen Peters – Film and Performing Arts

4.       Charles Novia – Television and Independent Producer

5.       Segun Arinze- Actor and Producer

6.       Ali Jita – Actor and Musician

7.       Baba Agba – Film Director

8.       Kene Okwuosa – Cinema and Distribution

9.       Efe Omoregbe – Record label and Collective rights management

10.       Prince Daniel Aboki – Radio and Film

11.     Chioma Ude – Streaming

12.   Olumade Adesemowo – Television and Platform (FreeTV)

13.   Dare Art Alade – Livespot Entertainment

14. Oliver Enwonwu – President, Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA),

15. Alhaji Saleh Rabo – President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria

16.  Bala Hassan – Booksellers Association

17   Ali Nuhu – Kannywood

18   Tajudeen Owoyemi – Hotels

19. B.M. Dzukogi – Association  of Nigerian Authors

20. TY Bello – Photography

21. Lanre Da Silva Ajayi – Fashion

22. Anita Eboigbe – Secretary

7.  I will like to, most sincerely, appreciate all the members of the committee for agreeing to sacrifice their time and resources to take part in this national assignment. I commend your sacrifice and love of country. As the committee receives its mandate, I believe it will do justice to the assignment, culminating in suitable recommendations that will help the industry to thrive and expand. I am aware that you have already started work, and I am impressed at the sense of urgency and the creativity you have brought to bear in carrying out the assignment.

8.   It is my sincere hope that the recommendations from the committee, after its four-week-tenure, will not only save jobs, lives and the industry from the scourge of the pandemic, but will also properly reposition the industry to take its rightful place in the economy.

9.   And now, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to inaugurate the Post-Covid-19 Initiatives Committee For The Creative Industry

10.   I thank you all for your kind attention.