The Federal Government on Sunday officially handed over the National Theatre in Lagos to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the the Bankers’ Committee.
This is further to the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) announced at the Bankers’ Committee retreat in 2018.
At the handover ceremony, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, said Nigeria has the potential to earn over $20bn annually from the creative industry and that the creative industry centre is expected to create over 1 million jobs in five years.
“Our goal for the National Theatre is to create an environment where startups and existing businesses are rewarded for their creativity,” Emefiele said.
He said the National Theatre, when fully renovated, would be able to support skills acquisition and job creation for over 1 million Nigerians over the next five years.
“These Nigerians will be empowered with funds at single-digit interest rate, high level training using state-of-the-art tools, and networks that will enable them to turn their ideas into a reality,” Emefiele said.
He said the creative industry centre, which comprises music, movies, fashion and ICT, could be a key source of growth for the economy creating up to 1 million jobs for the teeming youths.
“It will also aid our objective of reducing our dependence on revenues from crude oil. India, for example, in 2018, generated over $240bn from exports of IT, movies, music and fashion-related goods and services. This amount is over five times our annual earnings from the sale of crude oil.
“With our human capital resources and an enabling environment that will help harness the creative talents of our youths, Nigeria has the potential to earn over $20bn annually from the creative industry,” he said.