Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has pledged to increase funds for the arts and liberalise the process of its acquisition,once elected as President in in the February 2023 General elections. 

Alhaji Abubakar made the promise during a special roundtable discussion with Nigeria’s Creative Culture and Innovative (CCI) industry stakeholders in Lagos, on Saturday, November 26, 2022. 

The presidential candidate acknowledged that the creative industry was a vital industry capable of immense wealth creation and generating huge employment opportunities.

Highlighting the industry’s challenges, Mr Abubakar said it should not be toyed with as it had been identified as the second most important sector after agriculture.

Atiku Abubakar, who captured his views during the interaction with the creatives on his verified social media Twitter handle, tweeted: “I am excited at the impactful conversations my team and I had today with Nigeria’s Creative, Cultural and Innovative (CCI) Industry.

“I listened to the issues and needs of the industry and most importantly, I made explicit commitments to the sector to RECOVER it and support it greatly to break new frontiers in the continent and around the world.

Most significantly, I am so proud of our CCI industry in Nigeria. They have achieved so much with little to no support, and their presentations this evening were easily one of the most intellectually engaging dialogues I’ve had in recent times. -AA

He further added according to a NAN report, that “The way forward is to increase funds for the arts and liberalise the process of acquiring that fund; if you give me the opportunity, I will do it because it is essential.

“I reject direct CBN intervention and encourage the private sector to be part of this, the government cannot develop all the funds needed.

“I look forward to a close collaboration with you on how we can develop the sector and exploit its potential, it is a multi-billion income-creating sector.

“If we work together, we can make it, I look forward to another meeting before the elections to agree on some modalities on how things will be done,” he said.

PDP Vice Presidential candidate and  Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa Ifeanyi Okowa, affirmed the assurance given by the Presidential candidate that all requests made by the practitioners in the creative sector would be properly articulated, even as he informed the creative community that the newly constructed Film Village in Asaba would be launched by December.

There were plans, according to the PDP Vice Presidential candidate, to ensure that practitioners in the creative industry ran it, as the government would not be in the best position to do that.

Writing on his verified Twitter social media handle, Okowa tweeted: “Last night, at our meeting with Nigeria’s Creative, Cultural, and Innovative (CCI) Industry, I announced that the Asaba Film Village, which will be managed by experts from Nollywood, will be ready next month.

Entertainment’ has always been one of Nigeria’s greatest exports. From Fela Aníkúlápó Kuti, all the way to the new era of Davido, Wizkid, and Burna Boy, our music and our Nollywood movies are listened to and watched in homes across the world. 

This is why, as we work to #RecoverNigeria, last night, alongside our Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, we met with Nigeria’s Creative, Cultural, and Innovative (CCI) Industry to listen to recommendations on how to make the sector more effective.

“I am pleased that at the meeting, our next President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, made explicit commitments to support the growth and development of the sector right from Day 1 of the #AtikuOkowa administration,” he tweeted. 

He then urged Nigerians to turn out enmass to vote for the PDP during the forthcoming elections in February and March next year.

Those who spoke on behalf of the creative and cultural community include; Efe Omorogbe, Ayo Animashaun of HipTv, Kenneth Gyang, Chioma Ude, Angela Amaya, Francis Onochie and Bobo Omotayo (Art X Fuji Opera) amongst others.

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