WHO’S THE MODERN ENEMY OF NIGERIAN CREATIVE INDUSTRY? Attention: AGF, PMAN
FOR long, we have identified Alaba Market as the active enemy of the creative industry. The inactivity of government, corporate organisations and development agencies was considered flaccid adversaries of an industry with immense potential than the most revered oil. All that can be forgiven, because we can excuse the past as a period of ignorance.
Now that government is about taking the creative industry on a flight of purposeful destination, now that reactions are gradually building with re-energised interest by institutions like the Bank of Industry, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Inspector-General of Police and all, it is important to know who the new enemies of economic progress are, that have chosen to stall effort at spinning forward, from its present 1.4 per cent contribution of the creative industry to the country’s GDP.
Now that government has discovered the new ‘oil well’ in the creative sector, now that lawyers are finding new clientele among entertainers with many of them making direct investment in film production and music labels and many more championing the fight against piracy, now that the banks are beginning to see signs of auditable structures and Return on Investment, now that the detractors of creative economy are thinning out, now is that time to identify the ‘crazy baldheads and chase them out of town’ (in Bob Marley’s voice).
But how prepared is the creative industry for this new challenge that is about to place the engine of a segment of the Nigerian economy on their lap? This is no time for backstabbing and petitions, rather, for critical assessment of the state of the industry visa the new developments.
An important part of this development is the fight against piracy for which the Inspector-General of Police has showed cooperation, but I see one grey area in the process, which only the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice can help resolve – This is by moving the Nigerian Copyright Commission from ‘Justice’ to ‘Information and Culture’.
This was the opinion of stakeholders at the last Creative Industry Summit, and if the position of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is based on the cardinal principles of Progressive Change which is the cornerstone of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, then the creative industry is on its way to Eldorado.
But on the basis of ego and individuality that sometimes characterise our politics, there may be some hiccups. I pray that this should not be the case. Otherwise what would be the reason for the AGF to hold on to the NCC which has not fared well under ‘Justice’ since its creation? I think a let-go will be fair to the ‘redundant’ members of staff of the agency who have had no clear record of success with anti-piracy operations and have often blamed their inefficiency on underfunding.
I trust that the AGF cannot be selfish in this case. This is the Change government of Muhammadu Buhari and all hands must be on deck to develop this nation and achieve the much-desired alternative sources of income generation. The cause is beyond an individual or their ego. There are other major concerns for the Ministry of Justice to busy itself with, and the NCC cannot be the yardstick of its success. Far from it.
Moreover, now that the entertainment industry desires some harmonisation, the best ground to resolve the little conflict in the roles of the NCC and the National Film and video Censors Board (NFVCB) is under one roof. Meanwhile, taking a look at the The Quartet (an association of the Nigerian Film Corporation, Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NFVCB and NCC), the NCC is the odd one out. It is time all common-purpose agencies were brought under one umbrella and not play politics with productive initiative.
Before now, the creative industry was crying over its inability to make international impacts having been restricted from treaties which is not within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Information. Now that it is rightfully under the Culture Ministry, and everything is looking bright and beautiful, the NCC misalignment shouldn’t be the snag, and the AGF should in the interest of Change see to this.
On the other hand, I find it quite appalling that PMAN is accusing the Minister of Information of stealing its idea of a creative industry summit. And I think that the crisis that has rocked the association for decades is now taking the semblance of a curse. Who will deliver PMAN from this seeming ancestral spell?
When a PMAN faction that is yet to be accepted by all is seeking relevance by being controversial, then there is need to question the wisdom of its leadership. How can an idea of a creative industry summit be the exclusive right of anyone or an organisation whether they had forwarded it as a proposal or not? I cannot count the number of summits of that nature that have been held in the last 10 or 15 years, including the all-inclusive annual Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NEC) Series organised by my friend, Ayeni Adekunle Samuel through his NET publication.
I was not invited to the recent Nigerian Creative Industry Summit but I found my way there. That is what every progressive mind should do. If recognition was the grouse of the leadership of the PMAN in question, they should have simply attended and added their voice, if indeed they have anything meaningful to contribute. Musicians have fared well without PMAN in fortune and glamour for over a decade of its crisis. This is no time for unnecessary attention seeking. If PMAN, which lacks rave-making members, can tell me how it is more relevant to an average musician than the CMO, I will rest my case.
The post WHO’S THE MODERN ENEMY OF NIGERIAN CREATIVE INDUSTRY? Attention: AGF, PMAN appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.