The federal government has granted ‘pioneer status’ to the creative industry in a landmark move aimed at transforming the industry to a creative economy and creating jobs.
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday.
According to Mohammed, the decision to grant the industry pioneer status is in fulfillment of the promise made by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
He said that pioneer status was granted to companies that made investments in creative industries and products.
The minister added that pioneer status meant the companies would enjoy a tax holiday from corporate income tax payments and withholding tax on dividend from pioneer profits for an initial period of three years.
He said that the tax holiday was extendable for one or two additional years after the initial three-year period.
The companies it concerns are those involved in music production, publishing and distribution (including online digital distribution) and photography.
It also covers companies involved in production and post-production of digital content for motion pictures, videos, television programmes and commercials.
“Companies involved in distribution and exhibition (digital movies, animation, videos, television programmes and commercials) are not left out,” Mohammed said.
He added that companies that were into publishing of books (copyrighted books), development and publishing of ready-made software (operating systems, software applications and computer games) were also covered.
The minister noted that this was a milestone for the creative industry, adding that it would definitely catalyse investments in the industry.
He was optimistic that the new status was an answer to the industry stakeholders’ quest to spur the establishment of world class studios in Nigeria for production and post-production of movies and music videos.
“I recall that the need to grant pioneer status to the creative industry as well as tackle the piracy of creative works were among the key issues raised by participants at the Creative Industry Financing Conference.
“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 status was granted within three weeks of the conclusion of the conference.”
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