In a bid to transform the Nigerian creative industry into a vibrant sector that will create multiple jobs, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Information and Culture, has offered practitioners in the industry a tax break.
The landmark move which now gives the industry ‘Pioneer Status’ and a path to rapid transformation was disclosed by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued in Abuja.
The Minister said the move was made in fulfillment of a promise made at the Creative Industry Financing Conference in Lagos 17-18 July 2017, by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, at the opening event.
“This is a shot in the arm for the Creative Industry, and it will definitely catalyse investments in the industry. It is also the answer to our quest to spur the establishment of world class studios in Nigeria for production and post-production of movies and music videos,” the minister said.
Lai said the FG was doing its best to tackle the key issues raised by participants at the Creative Industry Financing Conference such as granting ‘Pioneer Status’ to the creative industry as well as tackling piracy of creative works.
”It is a measure of the increasing importance attached to the industry by the federal government that these issues are now being handled with utmost urgency. First, the ‘Pioneer Status’ has been granted within three weeks of the conclusion of the conference. Secondly, an Anti-Piracy Committee, comprising representatives of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, industry stakeholders and the police, has been set up to work out the modality for tackling piracy in a lasting and sustainable manner”, he said.
The announcement is coming two days after Think Tank Media and Advertising Ltd condemned the recent petition by the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN), accusing the Minister of plagiarizing its proposal that was presented to him under the name ‘Bar Coding Technology for the Creative Industry in Nigeria’.
The outfit which claimed ownership of the right in the works conceptualized and expressed through the Creative Nigeria Financing Conference, in a statement signed by its Managing Director, Taiwo Olukunle, claimed that neither the Minister, nor the Ministry of Information and Culture, had anything to do with the conceptualization and development of the Creative Industry Financing Conference.
Think Tank Media in the statement also said that the allegation against the person of the Minister with regard to the Creative Industry Financing Conference, was spurious, highly misplaced and borders on a sinister plan to intentionally malign his person and bring his good works into disrepute.
Following the accusations by PMAN, the Minister had threatened legal action against PMAN for wrongly accusing him of plagiarism and intellectual property theft.
In an interview he granted Channels TV, Lai said; “As a minister of information and culture, I can’t stop people coming to me with proposes, so when a supposedly reputable organisation as PMAN comes and says he wants to see the minister and he says we want to organise conferences on creative industry, does that stop me as a minister from organising my own creative industry, especially when you did not come to me with a blue print to show me how the conference will be?”
“Even if PMAN’s proposal was visible, there was no way at that point in time that I could have asked them to go ahead to do it but where is the law that says that the minister must accept any or every proposal from a group.” He said.
“So, your right to organise a conference is exclusive to one person or a person comes to you and say because he has given you a proposal that he wants to organise a creative conference so you as a minister you are stopped, or you can’t do your work”?. “But I can assure you I have instructed my lawyers to sue them for defamation,” he added.
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