Developing the Nigerian entertainment industry seems to be taking an unexpected turn. Hopefully, we don't have to deal with extremities but possibilities.
The Minister of information, Lai Mohammed, announced plans by the Federal Government to discourage production of Nigerian music and films outside the country. The minister revealed this when he paid a visit to the headquarters of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) in Lagos recently.
“This government has agreed that henceforth, whatever we consume in Nigeria in terms of music and films must be made in Nigeria. We cannot continue to go to South Africa or any other country to produce our films and then send them back to be consumed in Nigeria. The Broadcasting Code and the Advertising Code are very clear on this. For you to classify a product as a Nigerian product, it must have a certain percentage of Nigerian content,” he said according to The Cable.
The minister also added that Nigerian artistes were often flown outside the country to make their recordings and as a result, they help in developing the economies of whatever countries they work in.
“When they get there, they will patronise the economy of that country and then bring the products back to Nigeria for us to consume. It is like somebody going to China or Japan to make a product that looks like palm wine and bring it back home to label it Nigerian palm wine. As long as we are not able to implement our own code to ensure local production of Nigerian music and movies, our young talents will not get jobs. It is Nigerians that pay for the consumption of these products and therefore they must be allowed and encouraged to participate in their production. I am going to meet with the relevant stakeholders over this, to see that whatever amendment that is needed to be made to our Broadcasting Code in this regard, is done urgently.”
To encourage local production of films and music, the minister added that Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission had put forward a proposal to classify the creative industry and grant it a pioneer status. He said that with the pioneer status, the creative industry would be entitled to certain incentives and tax holiday. The minister also said that there would also be waivers for shipment of imported music and films production equipment.