Rebirth for arts, culture, creative economy

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By Dr. Deji Ayoola

Beyond a seeming cosmetic spruce-up, the new Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy (FMACCE) benefits from a fundamental vision tweak and structural reconceptualisation from which the impactful achievements it has recorded in a year flow.

A baby of “Renewed Hope Agenda” and rigorous visioning by President Bola Tinubu, FMACCE, under the guidance of youthful minister, Hannatu Musawa, has chalked up some key achievements as of Q1, less than a year since she set sail at the instance of the President.

“As a nation, we are trying to diversify from oil, and the creative economy is a strong alternative as the new oil because the future of the country depends on the creative sector.

“Nigerian creatives all over the world are doing great things and that is why our ministry is set to be a beacon of creativity, innovation, and inclusivity,” Musawa said in a keynote address at the opening of 2024 management retreat for ministry workers and agencies in Abuja.

Cutting to the heart of her mandate, she added: “We play a critical role in shaping the creative and cultural landscape of our nation while promoting and preserving Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

“Since establishment of the ministry by President Tinubu, we have witnessed remarkable achievements and milestones, thanks to the dedication and passion of our predecessors and key stakeholders.

“From establishment of cultural institutions to implementation of landmark policies, project and programmes, our ministry has been and will continue to be in the forefront of driving positive change and transformation.”

FMACCE is committed to aligning itself with the presidential priorities enunciated by President Tinubu for ministers and top government functionaries back in November. These include reforming the economy to deliver sustained inclusive growth, strengthening national security for peace and prosperity, boosting agriculture to achieve food security, among others.

Musawa nailed it when she insisted: “The Art, Culture, and the Creative Economy sectors have a crucial role to play in achieving these priorities and are critical drivers of economic growth and job creation. By ensuring the development and continued investment in these sectors, we can harness their potential to stimulate innovation, promote entrepreneurship and attract investments, thereby contributing to diversification and resilience of our economy.”

With notable clarity and emphasis, she reaffirmed her ministry’s commitment to working together to ensure that efforts that birthed FMACCE are consolidated and institutionalised. Significantly, Musawa, who boldly proclaimed that the creative economy is Nigeria’s “new oil,” has kept her pledge, mirrored in the impressive, critical grounds FMACCE has covered on her watch, despite challenges.

As the administration of President Tinubu marks its first anniversary in office, it will be pertinent to track its governance progress. It is a good opportunity to beam the searchlight on achievements of FMACCE.

Under Musawa’s watch, the FMACCE, as at the first quarter, recorded 1,005 individuals trained in professional development programmes in the creative sub-sectors through NICO, National Theatre, NFC, NFI, NGA, MOWAA. It has also recorded 103 trainees trained in cultural and creative academies established in partnership with higher institutions. These positives come under capacity building/training of individuals.

The ministry has also embarked on PPP for infrastructure renovation/construction. The renovation of the National Theatre through PPP with the CBN & The Bankers Committee.

On partnerships and collaboration, it has commenced mapping of potential domestic and international partnerships and collaborations. It has signed MOUs for partnership with the Recording Academy (Grammy’s); International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) with NCMM, ABU Zaria, and AUN Yola.

On job creation, the ministry has recorded 257,754 new jobs. In terms of its contribution to GDP, it has scaled up GDP contribution share by 0.37 per cent from 1.3 per cent to GDP share of 1.67 per cent.

In the period of assessment, FMACCE has increased Nigerian Cultural Heritage on UNESCO Representative List by two. These include Sango Festival Oyo and Midwifery.

On the soft power front, FMACCE spearheaded increase in Nigeria’s cultural influence from 2.5 per cent to 46 per cent and recorded increase in Nigeria’s cultural influence from 2.5 per cent to 46 per cent. It further recorded increase in Nigeria’s Brand Perception Index from 1.5 per cent to 18 per cent.

In terms of stakeholder engagement, it conducted 18 stakeholder engagement events with the public through industry stakeholder workshops, organized by CBAAC and NGA.

Against the backdrop, the creative economy is a fountain of opportunities, a wellspring of economic growth, and a catalyst for societal transformation. It is also a testament to the ingenuity of Nigerians, the richness of its cultural heritage and the imagination that defines it as a nation. It was not surprising the minister pledged her ministry will facilitate creation of two million jobs.

Hear her: “We are trying to diversify from oil through the creative industry. Job creation is key and we want to create and contribute two million jobs by 2027. We want to increase the GDP by $100 billion by 2030. It is doable. We are going to work round the clock to ensure we are able to do that.”

President Tinubu, through reconceptualisation and creation of the new FMACCE, demonstrated his commitment to supporting growth and development of the art, culture, and the creative economy sectors. He recognises the role these sectors play in the national development agenda.

It’s little wonder that Tinubu has peered into the future and proclaimed his administration would create a trillion-dollar economy in 10 years. For Doubting Thomases, it could be recalled that California recorded over $3 trillion-GDP in 2023 by leveraging human and technological resources.

Leaning on his “Renewed Hope Agenda,” the consensus is that Tinubu can leverage Nigeria’s population and resources to build a trillion-dollar economy in the next decade.

The President noted that achieving his goal of creating a trillion-dollar economy in 10 years can be facilitated by job creation, access to capital for SMEs, inclusiveness, rule of law and battling insecurity, hunger, poverty and corruption. Musawa is a key player in that compelling big picture.

What’s more. Musawa has demonstrated an awareness and knows it’s no secret that today, the world, Africa and Nigeria stand on the brink of disruptions – and of considerable opportunity – as new governance, political and business models challenge traditional playbooks. She demonstrated capacity, competence and leadership in her previous engagements. FMACCE, under her watch, is benefiting from these capabilities as she drives the creative economy.

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