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FG to boost economy through creative industry

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Nigeria's creative industry is projected to increase by $100bn in GDP by 2030.

According to the federal government, the creative industry in Nigeria is projected to have a $100 billion impact on the country’s Gross Domestic Product by 2030. Barrister Hannatu Musawa, the Minister of Culture, Art, and Creative Economy, made this statement while attending the Ojude Oba Festival in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. Dr. Ben Ugo Anama, Director of Cultural Agencies and Heritage, acting on behalf of the Minister, emphasised the ministry’s commitment to working with stakeholders to enhance, conserve, and protect the country’s diverse Cultural Heritage.

This aligns with the ministry’s long-term goal, Destination 2030, as envisioned by President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda. The grand ambition behind this vision lies in utilising the power of arts, culture, and the Creative Economy to fuel Economic Growth. Projections indicate a potential increase of over $100 billion in the gross domestic product by 2030, all stemming from this powerful drive. The Minister announced that the Federal government will work to designate the yearly Ojude Oba Festival as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) supported event.

A festival known for cultural impact seeks UNESCO recognition.

Musa-Musawa celebrated the festival’s achievements and positive impact on the country, noting that despite its success, UNESCO has yet to recognise it as an approved event. The Minister emphasised the importance of recognising festivals like Ojude-Oba for their significant contributions to the tourism industry, pledging to expedite the necessary procedures to secure international listing without unnecessary delays. During his address at the event, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State praised Ojude-Oba as a celebration that has bestowed upon Ijebuland and the residents of Ogun State a unique Cultural Identity.

In addition, the festival has a long history of over a century and is deeply rooted in Ijebu-Ode Culture. Originally a holiday of faith, it has transformed into a major cultural occasion honouring the extensive history of the Ijebu people. The celebration draws thousands of participants and audience members from around the country and beyond with its lively parades, traditional music, and dances. This festival promotes solidarity and cross-cultural interchange while protecting the Ijebu people’s uniqueness.

Cultural festivals boost local economies and need partnerships for growth.

Ojude Oba and other cultural celebrations have an essential financial influence on the host community. They generate many jobs, from food vendors and artists to event planners and Security. During festival seasons, local establishments such as stores, restaurants, and hotels experience a notable increase in sales. For example, events like Scotland’s Edinburgh Festival and Brazil’s Rio Carnival bring in millions of dollars yearly from tourists. The Ojude Oba Festival might repeat this achievement, impacting the economies of Ogun State and nationwide.

The creative sector’s ability to accelerate economic growth depends on the public and private sectors working together effectively. Public-private partnerships can result in increased Infrastructure spending, training programs for artists and entertainers, and marketing plans to attract foreign tourists. Nations such as South Korea, which has a flourishing K-pop sector, have demonstrated how deliberate Investment and cooperation can transform cultural assets into major sources of economic growth. The country’s creative Economy can also benefit from these.

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Despite its promising prospects, the creative sector confronts many challenges. Funding is still a major problem for many cultural enterprises because they don’t have the necessary funding. Cultural centres and performance spaces are instances of poor infrastructure. Also, artists and cultural managers have few options for Professional Development and training. The government must commit to tackling these issues by implementing supportive initiatives and policies. By creating an atmosphere favourable to the creative sector, the nation can fully utilise its cultural resources and meet its target of contributing $100 billion to its GDP by 2030.


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