Nigeria’s creative industry stands on the brink of transformation as Hannatu Musawa assumes her role as the new Minister of Culture and Arts. The anticipation is palpable as the industry envisions a new chapter under her leadership. Prominent figures from various creative sectors express their expectations, highlighting the pivotal role Musawa can play in shaping Nigeria’s cultural and artistic landscape.
Obi Asika, Convener of The Omniverse, drives home the creative economy’s centrality to Nigeria’s identity and growth. He emphatically states, “The biggest asset Nigeria has are the people.” Asika underscores that the creative industries, cultural sectors, and arts are fundamentally built upon the intellectual property of the Nigerian populace. He believes in a collaborative approach, advocating for partnerships between the Ministry of Culture and Arts and allied sectors like tourism, finance, communication, and the digital economy, envisioning this synergy as the “rocket fuel” propelling Nigeria’s economic ascent.
Acknowledging Nigeria’s largely undocumented cultural wealth, Asika sees technology as the key to preservation and revival. He notes, “Our culture being largely undocumented is an issue but technology gives us the opportunity to preserve these things and bring them back to life.” Asika’s optimism stems from technology’s empowering potential, believing it can safeguard and rejuvenate Nigeria’s cultural heritage for generations to come.
Asika casts a spotlight on Afrobeats’ global influence, underscoring its role in projecting Nigeria’s culture on the international stage. “Afrobeats are taking our culture worldwide,” he affirms. This genre’s meteoric rise highlights Nigeria’s creative prowess and its ability to shape global cultural trends.
The notion of transforming government-owned assets into engines of economic growth is Asika’s brainchild. He asserts, “The government has a lot of dead assets that it can concession,” advocating for leveraging these assets and collaborating with the private sector to invigorate Nigeria’s creative economy. This strategic alliance holds the potential to generate employment opportunities and amplify economic prosperity.
Recognizing the creative industry’s potential to create jobs, Asika underscores the importance of investing in skill development and training. His vision entails transitioning from intuitive creativity to a skilled workforce, ensuring the sector becomes a sustainable source of income and inspiration.
Filmmaker and CEO of Teen Africa TV, Charles Novia, echoes the need for a regulatory framework for Nollywood. Novia’s proposal aligns with his vision of standardising the industry and fostering professionalism, reinforcing Nigerian cinema’s global reputation.
Novia also emphasises the significance of policy discussions informed by creative industry professionals. “We need to have policy discussions with people in the industry and then we will set the agenda right for her,” he articulates in an interview with ARISE NEWS.
Professor Sunday Ododo, General Manager/CEO of National Theatre, underscores storytelling’s unifying power. He envisions Nigerian stories as vehicles to drive national unity and progress, highlighting the profound impact of the entertainment industry on society.
Throughout the creative spectrum, collaboration emerges as a consistent theme. All voices emphasise that joint efforts across ministries, creators, and stakeholders are pivotal to the industry’s growth and development. Novia’s plea encapsulates this sentiment: “Any serious government institution should be plugging in; we’re not asking to give us money, plug in to the renaissance.”
As Hannatu Musawa embarks on her role as the Minister of Culture and Arts, Nigeria’s creative luminaries share a unified vision: to amplify Nigeria’s cultural identity, shape impactful policies, and ignite an era of unprecedented creative growth. With the support of Musawa’s leadership, Nigeria’s creative industry stands poised to elevate its global stature, contributing to economic growth and cultural enrichment.