By G9ija

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has dispelled the rumour that his ministry received funds for COVID-19 palliative for the Creative Industry, but failed to disburse same.

Mohammed spoke at the 26th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023).

He said at the event on Tuesday in Abuja: “There is no truth in this.

“Much as we tried, we did not succeed in obtaining funds to cushion the negative effects of the pandemic on the creative industry.

“That is the true position.”

The News Agency of.Nigeria recalled the Minister inaugurated a 23-member committee to rebound the creative industry from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee, chaired by ace comedian, Ali Baba, had presented the report of the committee to the Minister in July 2020.

Speaking on the achievements recorded in the sector, Mohammed said the ministry secured a pioneer status for the creative industry.

He explained that the pioneer status enabled investors in the creative sector to benefit from incentives such as tax holiday and withholding tax on dividends.

Mohammed said the pioneer status was a way to stimulate growth in the industry.

To catalyse the development of the nation’s arts and crafts industry, Mohammed said the National Council for Arts and Culture signed a N300 million Memorandum of Understanding with the Bank of Industry with the endorsement of the ministry.

The minister recalled that the ministry held a Creative Industry Financing Conference, which articulated ways to source funding for the creative industry.

He said the conference recorded positive outcomes, among which was the
establishment of anti-piracy units in all the 36 States’ Police Commands and the FCT.

Mohammed said the ministry engaged in partnerships to fast-track the growth of
the industry by signing MoUs with the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the British Council.

He said after a long break, the administration succeeded in bringing Nigeria back as a key member of the UN Tourism Agency, UNWTO.