Nigeria’s creative industry has been described as the fastest-growing sector of the economy with $53 million and $51 million accrued last year from film and music respectively.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said in terms of business opportunities, employment and earnings, the entertainment industry is an unexplored keg of potentialities.
Mr Mohammed said this during a working visit to the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation’s headquarters in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said the film industry is the least untapped.
‘‘Today we have 53 cinema houses with less than 200 screens but for a population of 200 million people. We need a minimum of 1,000 cinema houses and 6,000 screens.
‘‘You can imagine if Nigeria made $53million last year from the film industry under 200 screens, how much more when we have 6,000 screens. Our music is growing; we are looking at $86 million next year,” he said.
Noting that cultural undertones in Nigeria’s film and music as endearing to the world, the minister said the country could leverage on the industry to be the biggest revenue generation.
‘‘We need to work harder so that we can actualize the potentials of this industry and make it not just the fastest growing sector in Nigeria but also increase our GDP from 1.24 per cent, the industry accounts for 2.24 per cent of our GDP. This can actually grow to 3 per cent of the GDP,” he said.
He then charged the tourism agency to harness the huge potentials of the industry to attract people to Nigeria “because there are many reasons people should come to Nigeria.
“Nigeria is a country of colours, with 250 ethnic groups, good culture and almost all-year-round good weather.
“We are blessed with a good music industry that has become global and even Nollywood is the second-best in the world. Our fashion is celebrated globally.”
Adding that the visa-on-arrival policy for African nationals which began operation this year is an added advantage to explore, Mr Mohammed said the tourism sector could generate more revenue into government coffers and increase the fortune of operators in the industry.
Earlier in his address, the Director-General of Nigerian Tourism Development Commission (NTDC), Folorunsho Coker said the agency was working on a framework that would reposition it on a new path of growth.
“NTDC has, in the last two and half years, been focusing on the new framework because it is important to have a framework for tourism exploration,” he said.
Giving the agency’s progress report, he said the ‘Tour Nigeria’ and ‘Nigerian Flavour’ twin programmes he created in 2017 are driving to their full potentials to promote domestic tourism.
Highlighting the agency’s roadmap for tourism promotion and development, Mr Coker said tourism would ‘move very rapidly’ to grow the country’s economy.
The roadmap was named ‘CHIEF’ to mean: C-Corporate governance and regularities; H-Human capital development; I-Infrastructural development; E-Events and marketing; and F-Financing and investment.
‘‘With what we have discussed, I am optimistic that tourism will be on the front burner of federal government’s priority,” he said.