Udeme Ufot, the Group CEO of SO&U and Co-Chair of the THECS Policy Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), delivered a warm welcome address at the General Assembly of the NESG Creative Economy Thematic Group (CETG) under the THECS Policy Commission.
Udeme Ufot, the Group CEO of SO&U and Co-Chair of the THECS Policy Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), delivered a warm welcome speech at the General Assembly of the NESG Creative Economy Thematic Group (CETG) under the THECS Policy Commission. The purpose of the assembly was to shape the future of Nigeria’s creative sector and maximize its potential for economic growth.
During his address, Ufot highlighted the significant number of individuals currently employed in Nigeria’s creative industry, which consists of five sub-sectors: Media and Entertainment, Beauty and Lifestyle, Visual Arts, Tourism, and Hospitality. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, there are over 4.2 million people employed in these sectors. Ufot emphasized the potential for further job creation and economic contribution, surpassing the current 12.2% from the telecommunication and information sector. He expressed optimism about Nigeria’s Creative Economy, stating that it could even surpass the oil industry given the country’s large population of highly talented youths.
Nigeria’s creative sector has gained recognition both within Africa and globally, with Nigerian music, films, and art making a significant impact. Ufot highlighted the international success of Nollywood stars, who often receive more acclaim across Africa and the Caribbean than in their home country. He mentioned that six years ago, Nigeria dominated the African creative industry, with seven out of the top ten pop artists being Nigerian. This dominance has promoted Nigeria’s diverse culture and driven tourism, including reverse tourism by diaspora Nigerians.
Ufot acknowledged the achievements of Nigeria’s creative industry, citing the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s hosting of the first International Conference on Culture, Tourism, and Creativity in Lagos, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and the NESG. He considered this milestone as evidence of the industry’s potential and positive impact on Nigeria’s economy.
However, to fully optimize Nigeria’s Creative Economy, Ufot emphasized the need to transition the sector from its current disconnected and informal model to a more structured and interconnected industry with formal systems and protocols. He stressed the importance of collaboration among critical stakeholders in the Nigerian Creative and entertainment space, spanning all sectoral segments of the NESG THECS.
During his address, Ufot also discussed ongoing initiatives and policies, such as the Copyright Act and Intellectual Property Rights Policy, which are crucial for securing and sustaining value for industry operators. He highlighted the significance of data collection, establishing frameworks and relationships, and unlocking access to finance to fuel industry growth.
The Creative Economy Thematic Group has been working diligently on a comprehensive work plan that will be presented for consideration and approval. This roadmap aims to accelerate the potential of Nigeria’s creative economy.
In conclusion, Ufot expressed gratitude to the attendees for their valuable contributions and urged them to actively shape the final resolutions of the assembly. He emphasized their vital role in advancing the creative economy and their commitment to serving the national interest.
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has played a leading role in facilitating social and economic reform programs for the growth and transformation of the Nigerian economy. With a platform for public-private dialogue, NESG has fostered a strong working relationship with the government, public sector, private sector, and other stakeholders. The flagship event, the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES), provides an opportunity for government and private sector representatives to review economic reform progress and find practical ways to address challenges hindering effective policy implementation.