In recognition of the strategic importance of the entertainment and creative sector in growing the Nigerian economy, the Buhari administration has in the past few years introduced several initiatives to harness the abundant potential in the country, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo, in a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande stated this over the weekend in a message delivered at the opening of the Ogidi Studios – a Lagos-based world-class creative complex, hosting recording, film production, animation, and writing studios, owned by the Temple Company.
According to the Vice President, “last year the federal government handed over the control of the National Theatre to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers’ Committee. The Bankers’ Committee has committed to an investment of N25 billion as initial funding for the development of the Nigeria Creative Centre at the National Theatre, Lagos.
“The sector will receive support from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Creative Industry Funds Initiative, an initiative that gives financial support to the technology and creative sector at single-digit interest rates.
“The Bank of Industry in collaboration with the National Council for Arts and Culture also has a N300 million loan package for the creative sector, the package provides the funds to the sector at single-digit interest rates with a tenor of four to five years.”
Speaking about the gains of consistent and deliberate efforts by the Buhari administration over the years, the vice president noted that the sector and the country are now better positioned to benefit from the entire value chain.
He said, “But perhaps more importantly, with the Ogidi Studios, Nigeria now operates on the same level of sound and video technology with the major global players. Now the stars, not just Nigerian stars, but from all over the world have a place in Lagos that is as good as any studio they have ever recorded in.
“World-class script writing, music recording, video making, and editing can take place under one roof, at the Ogidi Studios.
“The entire value chain in music and entertainment can now be local. So, we are at the cusp of a revolution in entertainment production, creative talent and services, and a major economic opening for business in Nigeria.”
Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo explained that “the world knows it and the smart money is already going after the trail. Last year, Netflix opened its first African office here in Lagos and is investing millions of dollars to buy and generate authentic African content on its platform.
“A couple of years earlier, the Universal Music group established itself firmly here and there are many others waiting to make their bid for a piece of the action.”
Assuring that with the quality of investments, the future is promising for the sector, the Vice President said, “this is really the private sector putting its best foot forward in the entertainment industry, the future is certainly looking very bright for the industry. And we are all looking forward to the greater investments.”
While commending the owners of the Ogidi Studios for raising the stakes in the entertainment industry, the vice president said local creative talents can now fulfill their dreams as “world-class script writing, music recording, video making, and editing can take place under one roof, at the Ogidi Studios.”
Referencing the stories of Burnaboy and Wizkid who took the entertainment industry by storm and winning Grammy Awards, Prof. Osinbajo noted that the environment has been prepared for Nigeria to produce more creative talents across the value chain in the industry.
Prof Osinbajo said: “on the 14th of March 2021, Burnaboy and Wizkid took the entertainment industry by storm winning Grammy Awards and established themselves as amongst the best musicians in the world. Burnaboy won in the “Best Global Music Album” category for the “Twice As Tall” Album and Wizkid; the real starboy, in the Best Music Video category for his feature in the song ‘Brown Skin Girl’.”