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Faiz Imam: in Collaboration with Communications Ministry, Culture Ministry Will Ensure Connectivity For Nigerian Creatives

He also revealed plans to audit the National Council for Museums and equip it, so that it can transform and renovate museums around Nigeria.

The Principal Adviser to the Minister of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy, Faiz Imam, has said that the ministry will work hand in hand with the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy to deliver data and connectivity to young creatives in Nigeria..

The Adviser said this in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Friday, where he also mentioned that the ministry is putting plans in place to include all aspects of the creative industry in the plans that are being implemented by the ministry.

Speaking on the collaboration with the Ministry of Digital Economy, Imam said, “Let’s start by the most significant of our tech initiatives, which is delivering connectivity to the young creatives in our space. This is a major issue for them. But you know, connectivity is firmly under the digital economy, so we will work with the honourable minister there and his team to talk about how we can deliver data to the young creatives in our space. It’s critical.”

He said that there are extensive overlaps in the industry which were recognized and were being worked on, saying that the ministry has several initiatives that it is looking to deploy where it will be collaborating with different MDA’s in the country.

Speaking on policy implementation, Imam said, “Policy is absolutely critical to what we are doing- policy and regulation. Internally we have a very strong team led by somebody who is an expert in policy, Olamide Dauda. She is supported by the NESG and they are reviewing the cultural policy, it’s part of what they are reviewing, but it’s not just the cultural policy, it’s the IP policy, it’s also the creative economy bill as a whole. So, all of this is in process, it started at the last NESG summit. Once they have a zero draft, then we will prepare to engage, start the engagement process, engage people like yourselves, have round tables specifically on the policies, make sure that it is something that reflects the view of the majority, it has the input of experts.”.

Speaking further on the subject, he said, “What we have done from inception till today is to put together a road map from now to 2030. That roadmap consists of actionable initiatives that we are now putting together a PMO (Project Management Office) basically to start to implement. You know, if you’re fighting a war, you need strategy. This is economic war, and we have broad strategy. We are looking for input into the strategy, but at the same time, we are beginning to implement.”

He said that as the world has progressed, there is a lot of drive to collaborate globally, and these policies will help to move in that direction.

Imam also mentioned that their plans so far are based on what they have seen from the National Bureau of Statistics to acquire all the data that they need to work and provide what is needed to creatives in the industry, as the ministry needs a database that contains all the members of the creative industry, so that it will provide clarity to the industry, and also provide clarity to investors who will need to understand the industry.

While he acknowledged that there were discrepancies between the data the NBS had in 2022 and the data of today, he said, “What we are doing is we are nor collaborating with the NBS to acquire all the statistics, because foundationally, it is clear to anybody who is serious, that to develop a plan that is effective, you need to have data, you need to have clarity on the constituency.”

The Adviser then said that the ministry is working to make sure that it is inclusive of all parts of the creative industry like the fashion community, the gaming community, the content creating community and others to make sure that no part of the creative industry is left out of support from the government. He also said that the ministry is open to suggestions on how they could be more inclusive.

He said, “You can’t move from $5 billion to $100 billion by engaging a huge set of the top tier. One of the things that was in our presentation, which I think many people didn’t notice, but we have an expressed anti-monopoly initiative that we are working on and we intend to work on clearly.

“We have divided our constituency into twelve or thirteen different parts so that nobody is left out. It’s not just about music and fashion, it’s about books and literature, it’s about architecture and design.”

Imam then addressed the need for incentives in the industry, saying, “Lots of people want to come in and they want to invest in Nigeria, they want to invest in the creative space, but they are looking for incentives. And we will represent them in our engagements with the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investments, express their positions, ask for support. Outside of the MDAs, the Presidency, the office of the vice-presidency, is supporting us and collaborating with us. There, the SA to the VP has been very supportive, and together, we are developing a program to deliver a marketplace.”

Speaking on the parastatals that have been abandoned in the country and the plans that the ministry had for them, he said, “First thing that the minister is doing is to review the parastatals themselves, review their mandate, and establish really, is this an efficient structure? The minister has reviewed, and has received now, an organizational structure and operational model that reflects one of the best structures in the world, which is the Korean Structure… that is the first thing to understand, there’s too much overlap, there’s inefficiency, so we have a structure. Now, it is time to start implementing by investing in the people, in training people, and in giving them clear and measurable targets that are consistent with the KPIs of the ministry.”

He then revealed that the Minister is going to audit the National Council For Museums and equip it, so that it can transform and renovate the museums around Nigeria.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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