We have given creative industry a lift, says minister

Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said his ministry has succeeded in putting the creative industry in the front burner of national discourse due to its critical role in the diversification of the economy.

The Minister said this in Abuja on Monday when he received the Music Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MUPMAN) on a courtesy call.”Our commitment in this ministry under this administration, especially to the Creative Industry, is not just a matter of words. We have taken practical steps to demonstrate our commitment to the promotion and protection of the Creative Industry.

“Mr. President has said it many times that we must diversify our economy and that we must produce in Nigeria what we consume in Nigeria, and in the last two weeks or thereabout, the Creative Industry, through the programmes and actions of this ministry, has dominated discourse,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said despite criticisms and unsavory comments, the ministry remains overwhelmingly committed to re-positioning the Creative Industry into a viable sector of the economy.

The Minister expressed the optimism that the newly inaugurated Anti-Piracy Committee consisting of officials of the ministry, creative industry stakeholders and the police will stamp out the piracy of intellectual property that has become rampant.

In his remarks, the National President of the Music Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Sharon Essco-Joshua, commended the minister for his uncommon commitment to the growth of the industry.

He briefed the minister on the forthcoming Nigerian Music Stakeholders Awards being organised by the association, and which is aimed at recognizing major stakeholders in the industry with a view to encouraging them to strive for excellence.

Also speaking at the occasion, the President of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, allayed the concerns raised by the association on the menace of piracy, saying the minister has activated a plan of action to tame it.

“The meeting going on here (conference room of the Hon. Minister) is a major historic development. We have major stakeholders here. They are meeting with two Deputies Inspector General of Police sent by the IG and we have crafted a serious attack on piracy and none of this could have been possible without the support, the inspiration and leadership of the Honourable Minister.

“What I can say to you confidently is that during his tenure Alaba will no longer be a no-go area. We are dealing with it and we have set up some important action plan but it shows what can happen when you have the right kind of leadership,” he said.
The Association later honoured the Minister with the title of the Grand Patron and also conferred on him the “Most Prestigious Stakeholder Award”

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Lai Mohammed
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