Post-COVID-19 Committee’s report to be implemented within available resources -Minister

by Araayo Akande

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has promised to ensure diligent implementation of the recommendations of the Post-COVID-19 Initiatives Committee on the Creative Industry.

The Minister pledged on Friday while receiving the report of the Ali Baba-led Committee during a virtual meeting in Abuja.

He, however, tempered expectations by stating that the recommendations would be implemented within the realms of available resources.

“Let me assure you that we will study the report with the same seriousness that you employed in preparing it, to ensure its full implementation, within the realms of available resources,” Mohammed said.

The Minister described the report as very rich, detailed and timely, especially as the Federal Government is looking more towards the Creative Industry to help revamp the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said, “based on the feedback that I have received, I do not doubt that the report you have just submitted is a culmination of painstaking efforts by all of you and will go a long way not just in aiding the recovery of the Creative Industry from the negative effects of the pandemic, but also in putting the industry on the right path to sustainable growth in the years ahead.” 

Mohammed appreciated the Committee for its sacrifice and commitment, adding, “I look forward to working with you as we strive to give the Creative Industry its pride of place.”

Speaking, Chairman of the Committee, Ali Baba, thanked the Minister for the opportunity given to the body to serve the nation.

He assured that the report is a reflection of the views of all the players in the nation’s Creative Industry.

Mohammed inaugurated the Post-COVID-19 Initiatives Committee on the Creative Industry on May 19 to assess the expected impact of the pandemic on the creative industry in general and advise the government on how to mitigate job and revenue losses. 

The body was also tasked to suggest the taxation and financing model most suitable for the creative industry in the COVID-19 season to encourage growth and recommend additional measures to support the sector. 

However, no sooner had he inaugurated the Committee that controversy emerged over its composition. First was the non-inclusion of representatives of publishers/writers and the travel/hospitality industry. 

They, alongside fashion, visual arts and photographers were later added.  
Some 20 Nollywood guilds and associations also protested that their heads were not consulted before government constituted the Committee. The CORA/ARTERIAL NETWORK Nigeria, a significant player in the creative industry also faulted the composition of the Committee.

Players in the creative industry who served on the Committee were: Ali Baba (Chairman); Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim (Vice-Chairman); Bolanle Austen Peters; Charles Novia; Segun Arinze; Ali Jita; Baba Agba; Kene Okwuosa; Efe Omoregbe and Prince Daniel Aboki.

Others were Chioma Ude; Olumade Adesemowo; Dare Art Alade; Oliver Enwonwu; Alhaji Saleh Rabo; Bala Hassan; Ali Nuhu; Tajudeen Owoyemi; B.M. Dzukogi; TY Bello; Lanre Da Silva Ajayi and Anita Eboigbe (Secretary).

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