How the entertainment and creative industry can lead to development in Nigeria – Akamadu | Dailytrust

How the entertainment and creative industry can lead to development in Nigeria – Akamadu

Chuks Akamadu, legal practitioner and Managing Director, Afrocultour
Chuks Akamadu, legal practitioner and Managing Director, Afrocultour

Chuks Akamadu, legal practitioner and Managing Director, Afrocultour has decried the manner in which the creative and entertainment industry has been relegated to the background in the country.

Akamadu made this known during the maiden edition of the Nigerian Entertainment and Economic roundtable which took place on Thursday, in Lagos.

The theme of the roundtable, was “Positioning the creative and entertainment industry to lead the private sector in supporting Federal and State Governments’ efforts to achieving urgent diversification.”

The Afrocultour boss called for synergy between practitioners of the creative and entertainment industry, the various stakeholders on the one hand and the federal and state government on the other hand.

“The first entertainment and economic roundtable was conceived to be a robust platform for mutually profitable engagements between creative and entertainment industry practitioners and their diverse stakeholders on the one hand and the Federal and state governments on the other hand on issues of policy , regulatory framework, legal regime, growth and general industry environment especially in the face of worsening vulnerability of crude oil prices and the alternative of checking up internally generated revenue.

“The whole idea is to cultivate a culture of regular dialogue among stakeholders and galvanize the requisite critical mass needed to transform into a money spinning machine with potentials to set the entire culture tourism landscape on a path to economic prosperity.

Cross fertilization

However, he called for regular cross fertilization of ideas between practitioners in the entertainment industry and policy makers “with a view to approaching the industry’s numerous challenges from a position of shared knowledge and with clinical precision.

He also recommended a change of perception on the part of government and the private sector.

The creative and entertainment industry, according to Akamadu is erroneously seen as a mere fact domiciled in the exclusive list of the country’ constitution, which has made the 36 federating units and the 77 local government councils not to “constructively engage the federal government for mutually supportive , mutually reinforcing and indeed mutually beneficial collaborations along the entertainment super highway essentially.”

“The central objective of the roundtable is to urgently design an inclusive industry framework for stimulating and reenergising the economy to stabilize and flourish sustainably amis Covid-19. Post covid-19 and in the face of unprecedented dwindling oil fortunes,” Akamadu said.

Akamadu also decried the way in which majority perceive the entertainment industry as something meant for leisure rather than as a tool for economic growth, job creation and social inclusion.

“The private sector on its part has yet to fully tap into the abundant potentials of the industry largely because a majority stills enjoys seeing the entertainment and creative sector from the lens of leisure as opposed to recognizing it rightly as a veritable tool for economic growth, job creation and social inclusion”.

Too much attention on Government

Akamadu also blamed the practitioners in the industry for focusing too much attention on government when in actual fact they are supposed to call the shots.

“The practitioners themselves who no doubt has done incredibly well seems to be focusing too much on government and sitting on their fortunes when the ace cards are actually in their hands.

“And who says that these illustrious practitioners cannot do much better than they are doing at present, especially in an era when the market value of Netflix has climbed to 196 billion US dollars, overtaking that of Exxon Mobil which currently stands at 166 billion US dollars.

The legal practitioner also noted that the creative and entertainment industry has a huge role to play in “rescuing the country from the turbulent waters of budget financing and relocating to the safe shores of budget financing.”

“According to experts, budget financing is when you borrow externally to meet up with your budgetary obligations whilst budget funding is when you can source from within the requisite money that you need to meet you budgetary allocation.

“So that is why entertainment and creative industry through this dialogue would desire to see a paradigm shift from our culture of budget financing to that of budget funding because we believe that the industry has a whole lot that we are yet to tap,” Akamadu averred.

Issues that were raised revolved around the need for the entertainment industry to have structures, which many in the entertainment industry said it already has, as well as the proliferations of guilds and factions within the industry which made it difficult for them to access grants and loans.

Inability to access to loan facilities

The artistes present decried their inability to access loans and grants provident by government because of stringent conditions.

According to them their identity, honour and integrity should serve as enough collateral, as none of them would like their name to be dented because of their inability to pay back loans accessed. They also spoke about the need to make the Nigerian environment conducive for creative and entertainers, as, according to them, “any country without night life is dead.”

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