8th May, 2022
By Deji Abdulwahab
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, has explained why he approached the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for single digit loans for the creative industry.
He gave the reasons on Saturday night at the closing ceremony of a seven-day Zuma Film Festival in Abuja.
According to him, it was in the Federal Government’s bid to boost the Nigerian film industry.
“The trajectory of the Nigerian film industry has been of great concern for us in this government, and this explains the series of actions we have taken to boost the industry”.
“I will just touch on a few of such actions: I led a team to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make a case for single-digit financing, and this has resulted in the Creative Industry Financing Initiative by the banks and CBN.
“We have also continuously made it clear to the international streaming companies that they must increase their local investment, including opening offices and increasing the local content on their platforms if they wish to do business in Nigeria.
“In the wake of COVID-19, we came up with a comprehensive report and made such available to development banks like Afreximbank, and Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), so that they can better understand the sector and invest in distribution and production companies”.
Meanwhile, he added that the Ministry had partnered with the CBN and the Bankers Committee on the renovation of the National Theatre at a cost of 100 million dollars to boost the exhibition revenues of the film industry.
“This is important because the iconic National Theatre was conceived as the hub of the creative industry in Nigeria.
“Its renovation and the addition of four new hubs, including an international film production facility, will cover production and post-production.
“These will signify the restoration of the power of the industry and its preparation to play huge roles for Nigeria into the future,” he said.