Vice-President Kashim Shettima says the Bola Tinubu administration is set to make real its promise to turn the “Nigerian creative industry into a critical segment of the global economy”.
Shettima spoke about Tinubu’s plans for a “more inclusive and prosperous future for the country’s creative economy” on Tuesday while addressing key players and stakeholders in showbiz at the art, culture and creative economy roundtable.
The event was hosted by the federal ministry of art, culture and creative economy at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
During the roundtable, Shettima said the federal government would work to increase the annual budget allocation for the creative and entertainment industry.
“Finally, I want to call on the gentleman seated here, the Honourable Minister of Economic Planning to kindly jack up, and quadruple the budget for the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy,” he said.
“We are going to walk the talk, this is not empty verbosity, we will support you, we will create the enabling environment for you to excel. You have come this far in spite of us, not because of us.
“But President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a man with the passion, zeal and commitment to redefine the meaning and concept of modern leadership. He’s a very decent man, I can give testimony to that. Let’s rally around him and move our nation forward.”
Shettima referred to Tinubu as the “architect of Nigeria’s entertainment industry” whom he said has been nicknamed “City Boy” because of his achievements in the creative sector.
“Thankfully, your President is the architect of the nation’s entertainment hub, and there’s a reason your industry refers to him as “City Boy.” President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not only cosmopolitan, a man of arts and culture in tune with the realities of your industry, but he has also acknowledged your industry as a critical segment of the global economy,” he said.
“So, we are here to make true our promise to you and let you know that the time has come for your industry to be at the negotiation table in Abuja.”
The vice-president also apologised to members of the creative and entertainment sector over neglect by past administrations, which he said left them with no option but to build the industry with minimal support from the government.
“The gathering of stars in this room today, each unique in its stardom, is a testament to why Nigeria stands as the envy of the creative universe,” he said.
“Our citizens haven’t merely entered the stage of arts, entertainment, and creativity; their brilliance has become a beacon of inspiration and admiration worldwide.
“I want to express our gratitude for the illumination they have cast upon the world, the delight they have infused into it, and, undoubtedly, the economic prosperity and employment they have brought to the thriving galaxy of their profession.
“The industries that have produced the stars in this room are products of sustained sacrifices. Young and old, the ferocity with which our talents have shone within and outside the shores of the country is a template for each sector in the country, and I confess to being utterly impressed.
“What is even more astonishing is that they built their collections of empires with minimal support from the government. This is why we are here. We are here to apologise to you and to form a synergy to maximize the potential of the fast-evolving creative economy, of which you are our shiniest pillars.”
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