Lai Mohammed receives Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, seeks closer Nigeria-U.S. collaboration in creative, culture industry

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has called for closer collaboration between Nigeria and the United States (U.S.) in the Creative and Culture Industry, especially in improving the quality of Nollywood movies.

The Minister made the call in Abuja when he received the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs,
Ms. Akunna Cook.

”Of immediate importance to us in Nigeria at this time is how to continue to improve the quality of our films. As you know, Nollywood, as our film industry is known, is among the top three in the world. Yes, the quality of our films have improved incrementally over the
years, but we can still benefit from the rich experience of America’s Hollywood, the undisputed world best.

”Apart from improving the quality of our production through technical
training and exchanges, we will also like to learn a few tricks in the
area of Animation,” he said.

Mohammed said the Nigerian government is working hard to reposition the Creative and Culture Industry, which has been badly
impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, because of the immense contribution
of the sector to the nation’s GDP.

“The Creative and Culture Industry is a key sector of the Nigerian economy, contributing 17.3% to the country’s GDP in 2020 and, together with other seemingly unrelated sectors, providing between 10 and 15
million jobs. Indeed, the Creative and Culture Industry is the biggest employer of labour after Agriculture,” he said.

The Minister listed some strategic interventions from the Nigerian
Government in the Creative Industry to include the N22.9 billion Central Bank of Nigeria Creative Industry Financing Initiatives; the 1 Billion Naira Bank of Industry Nollyfund; another 1 Billion Naira Bank of Industry Fashion and Beauty Fund; N-Power Creative and Project Act
Nollywood Federal Grant.

He said the government is still exploring other avenues to further give the sector a lift.

In her remarks, Ms. Cook said during her three-day visit to Nigeria, she focused on the developments in the Creative Industry and Digital Technology.

She said Nigeria’s Creative Industry has proven to be not only a driver of the economy but a significant player in changing the world’s perception about Africa, particularly Nigeria.

Ms. Cook commended the Nigerian Government for refurbishing the
National Theatre, Lagos which, she said, will create an eco-system and provide phenomenal opportunities for the stakeholders in the Creative Industry.

She pledged the readiness of the U.S. Government to collaborate with
Nigeria towards boosting the Creative Industry in the country.

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