According to UNESCO, the creative industry generates annual revenue of US$2,250 billion and global exports of over US$250 billion. Recent forecasts show that these sectors will represent around 10% of global GDP in the years to come.
In Nigeria, reports from Statista say that “motion picture and music recording accounted for roughly 730 billion Nigerian Naira (roughly 1.8 billion U.S. dollars) of Nigeria’s GDP in 2020. However, despite the large contribution of the movie and music industry to the country’s GDP, telecommunications and information services made up some 8.5 trillion Naira (around 20.8 billion U.S. dollars).
With this staggering data, it’s safe to say that the creative industry represents one of the most valuable sectors of our economy.
Now, imagine if the government should invest more in the creative industry and support creative entrepreneurs by creating an enabling environment for them to thrive. Think about it!
Maybe that is not enough. Let’s further look at more reasons why the government, individuals and cooperate bodies should support the creative industry in Port Harcourt:
- Employment Opportunities
If you look at the people in the music industry value chain, for instance, you will agree that the creative industry employs more people than any other industry. A musician for instance needs the service of music producers, promoters, instrumentalists, photographers, models, video producers, stylists, fashion designers, writers, event managers, dancers, sound engineers, writers, and more.
Just to deliver the MAYOR OF PITAKWA, KOBABA has employed over 20 persons directly and over 40 indirectly.
If the state government is serious about reducing unemployment and underemployment in Port Harcourt, the government must support the creatives in the state.
- 2. Economic development
An industry that is already contributing 730 billion Naira to the Nigerian economy according to reports published by Naira Diary obviously has the potential to contribute trillions to our economy.
The opportunities in the creative industry are limitless. While we are building flyovers in Port Harcourt, creatives in the state need support to fly over their challenges.
- 3. Security
They say ” an idle mind is the devil’s workshop” and I totally agree. Somebody like Mark Angel who runs the Mark Angel Comedy will be busy all day either creating content or managing his team and his brand. He does not have time to join the “unknown gunmen”. But someone idle and hungry can easily be enticed.
The creative industry is big enough to engage over 70% of Rivers youths if the government provide supports and encouragements. With this, insecurity will be reduced to the lowest minimum in the state as many will be engaged in the creative industry.
- .4 Positive image for the state and country
Burna Boy is a classic example. By winning the Grammys which is the biggest music award in the world, he put Rivers State and Nigeria on the global music map and the world get to see that Nigeria is much more than a place for poverty and corruption. Other creatives have also used their arts and platforms to tell Nigerian stories positively.
Nigerians are not respected abroad because of the negative tags they have given us, but with more people like Burna Boy, we can change the narrative.
To this end, I charge the government at all levels state with Rivers State to not only pay attention to the creative industry but to consciously make policies, create platforms and more
to see that the creatives in the state reach their potential.
Written by Henshaw Jacobson, a writer, public speaker and digital marketing professional.