The National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) has written Nigeria’s President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, seeking the cooperation of his in-coming administration towards proper positioning of the creative industry as a critical part of Nigeria’s economic mainstay, and emphasizing the need for a stand-alone Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The letter dated May 9, 2023, signed by NANTAP President, Israel Eboh and made available to the Press, notifies the President-elect that “the Nigerian creative industry has grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade and has become a key contributor to the Nigerian GDP, creating employment and taking many Nigerians from the poverty ladder”.
It further noted, according to statistics, that “in 2020, the creative industry accounted for over 730 billion Naira of Nigeria`s GDP, provided 2.4 million jobs, with a projection to gross over 15 billion dollars and create additional 2.9 million jobs by 2025”
The letter reads in full:
May 9, 2023
H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu,
Federal Republic of Nigeria,
POSITIONING THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY AS AN ECONOMIC MAINSTAY IN NIGERIA – THE NEED FOR A STAND-ALONE MINISTRY FOR CULTURE AND TOURISM
We bring you fraternal greetings from the entire members of NANTAP and the creative community as you prepare to take over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria, come May 29, 2023.
The assignment you are about to take on is no doubt a daunting one, bearing in mind the many challenges facing the country. At the heart of these many challenges are the economic downturn and the high level of unemployment among the different levels of the Nigerian population, insecurity, political and religious intolerance.
Overcoming these challenges, therefore, requires a leader who will be bold, daring, and innovative, with ideas and actions planned and built on the desire to develop and grow alternative industries and sectors that will grow the economy, create employment and reduce youth restiveness.
Your Excellency, one of such industry is the creative industry. The Nigerian creative industry has grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade and has become a key contributor to the Nigerian GDP, creating employment and taking many Nigerians from the poverty ladder.
Statistics show that in 2020, the creative industry accounted for over 730 billion Naira of Nigeria`s GDP, provided 2.4 million jobs, with a projection to gross over 15 billion dollars and create additional 2.9 million jobs by 2025.
These figures take on greater significance when we take into account the lack of will on the part of successive governments to create a conducive environment for the sector to thrive, through enabling laws, infrastructural development, funding platforms that bridge the funding gaps experienced by industry players, and creating a Ministry of Culture and Tourism built on technical know-how that can bring about the required development that turns the creative industry into an economic powerhouse and employment generator that rivals oil and gas, telecommunications and agriculture as is obtainable in India, Brasil and the United States.
Your Excellency, while we align ourselves with your vision to make the creative and entertainment industry stronger and more economically viable and relevant to the socio-economic development of the country, it is our sincere plea that now more than ever is the time to walk the talk by taking definite steps and actions that will develop and grow the industry to the standards that make it a global competitor.
We therefore seize this medium to appeal to you as President-elect, to include in your administration`s economic agenda, the establishment of a STAND-ALONE MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM as a priority, as this has the potential to take Nigeria out of the economic woods.
We further wish to state that for this Ministry to achieve its desired aim, Your Excellency must seek out men and women with the technical abilities and know-how of creative administration and economy to drive the entire process. The task before this Ministry can never be realized or fulfilled if the sector will continue to be used for political compensation.
The creative ability and will to excel of the average Nigerian have never been in doubt, what has always been lacking is the will on the part of government to harness this energy for national benefit. We believe you are rightly placed to right this negative trend and provide every Nigerian youth, a platform that guarantees him/her some measure of economic hope and freedom.
Your Excellency, history beckons on you to write your name in gold as the leader who gave Nigeria a truly creative industry and provided the catalyst needed to drive a new, and alternative source of revenue for a viable and sustainable economic growth.
We pray God grant you the will and grace to bring about a new Nigeria.
Thank you, Your Excellency.
Israel Eboh fta