Showbiz to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on oil for forex, says Lai

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says that Nigeria’s showbiz will reduce its dependence on oil as a major source of foreign exchange due to renewed efforts by the federal government.

The minister spoke at the 6th edition of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) which held on Saturday at the Eko Hotels & Suites, in Victoria Island, Lagos, to honor veterans and deserving professionals in the African music space.

While congratulating the nominees and winners, Mohammed said that targeted efforts are being made to rejig the showbiz industry, cut down the cost of data subscriptions, and ensure showbiz content creators earn the due yields of their investments.

“Judging that the giant strides of the industry locally and internationally and its popularity in this particular award, a lot goes into making industry from the artistes to the managers, sponsors, agents, marketers, investors and event organizers,” the minister said.

“Thank you, AFRIMA, for playing a role in the development of our Afrobeats and African music in general. As we move into 2020, the commercialization of the showbiz industry is our number one priority because it would create jobs, reduce crime, and be a major source of foreign exchange.

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“It would also reduce our dependence on oil, rebrand our country internationally, and boost our GDP. We’re making cheaper and long-term financials available for the industry especially for infrastructure like concert halls across the six geopolitical zones of the federation.

“Issues that plagued the country have now been put on the front burner by the attorney-general. There would be no more excuse, the use of music must be paid for. Another big issue is the commercialization of the digital economy. Data must be cheaper and owners of content must make more money from the use of their work.

“We’re cleaning up the advertising industry and making sure proper audience measurement exists and are collated. This alone promises to add at least N50 billion annually to the music industry. We will continue to play our role in making sure that the industry survives and that those who provide content continue to make a profit from their investment.”

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Tuface ‘2Baba’ Idibia, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage and Burna Boy were among the winners at the AFRIMA 2019.

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