Agba tasks stakeholders on mainstreaming creative industry in national development plans

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, delivering his closing speech at the capacity-building programme for ministerial aides in Abuja on Monday.

Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba has assured stakeholders in the Creative and Entertainment Industry that their representatives in the groups working on the new national development plans would ensure appropriate mainstreaming of the sector in the plans.

He said 26 Technical Working Groups (TWGs), a Central Working Group (CWG) and a National Steering Committee (NSC) were working on the Medium-Term National Development Plans (MTNDP -2021-2025 & 2026-2030) and the perspective plan- Nigeria Agenda 2050.

He told the stakeholders that there was a special TWG on Culture, Tourism, Creative Industry and Hospitality to take care of the thematic area.

The plans, according to him, would succeed the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP- 2017-2020) both of which would come to an end on December 31, this year (2020).

He said that the TWG on macroeconomic framework had submitted its report while the 25 other TWGs had submitted their diagnostics reports for the Plans.

The plans are under the highest governance structure of a National Steering Committee (NSC) under the co-chairmanship of renowned Economist, Investment Banker and Entrepreneur, Mr Atedo Peterside (for the private sector) and Dr Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning (for government).

He spoke in Lagos on Thursday at the 1st Nigeria Entertainment and Economic Roundtable organised by Africultour, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Lagos State Government with support of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).

The theme of the Roundtable was “Positioning the Creative and Entertainment Industry to lead Private Sector in Supporting Federal and State Government’s Efforts at Achieving Urgent Economic Diversification”.

Agba, who was represented on the occasion by his Special Assistant (Media), Mr Sufuyan Ojeifo, said he considered the theme appropriate in the “context of our current drive at diversifying and strengthening the productive base of our economy as a strategy to encourage positive economic growth and development.”

In his paper, titled: “The imperative of mainstreaming the Creative and Entertainment Industry into the Nigerian Economy”, Agba said that President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to economic diversification.

According to him “The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is committed to the process of shifting Nigeria’s economy away from a single income source – oil earnings – towards multiple sources of earnings from a growing range of sectors and markets; and one of these is the Creative and Entertainment sector.”

He tasked the Roundtable to come up with implementable resolutions on how the Creative and Entertainment industry could be mainstreamed into the development plans.

He assured stakeholders that their representatives acting in concert with the groups working on the plans would ensure its appropriate mainstreaming into the plans for bolstering economic growth and development on a sustainable basis by 2050 and beyond.

He said the inclusion of the Creative and Entertainment Industry as one of the mandate areas in the ERGP that were prioritized for execution was basically aimed at encouraging private sector, more especially youth participation in the industry.

Agba added that the youths were the major players in the sector, “whose ideas, intellect, innovativeness, productivity and creativity had defined and are redefining the shapes, textures and contents of the component activities of the industry such as film, music, fashion, arts, and software, among others, as captured under three sectors of the ERGP namely; Manufacturing; Information and Communication; as well as Arts, Entertainment and Recreation.”

Assuring the audience that the successor plans to the ERGP and Vision 20:2020 were being private sector driven with government acting as an enabler, Agba stated that the plans would be truly National Plans and not Federal Government Plans.

According to him, “Let me take this opportunity to announce that the MTNDP 2021-2025 will be launched in the first quarter of 2021 while the report for the second MTNDP 2026-2030 will be submitted to the CWG in February 2021.

“The final report of Nigeria Agenda 2050 is due for submission in July 2021. Significantly, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire, the two Medium-Term National Development Plans (2021-2025 and 2026-2030) will focus on lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next ten years.”

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