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CBN, banks to develop creative industries parks in National Theatre

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To boost the creative sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expressed plans for development of creative industries park across three major cities.

Mr Godwin Emeifele, CBN Governor, stated this on Monday at the Creative Nigeria Summit in Lagos.

Emeifele said that with the support of the Federal and Lagos State Governments, the National Theatre Iganmu in Lagos would serve as the initial pilot for the Creative Industries Park.

He said that the National Theatre would be given a face lift to reopen its touring potential offered during FESTAC 77.

The CBN governor said that the plan was to develop a 40-acre Creative Industry Park around the Natioanl Theatre to create employment.

He noted that the banks planned to set up similar parks in Kano, Port Harcourt or Enugu following the deployment of the pilot scheme in Lagos.

“Our goal through the establishment of these parks is to create an environment where startups and existing businesses can be incubated and rewarded for their creativity.

“In each of these parks, efforts will be focused on discovering the most innovative young entrepreneurs across the music, movie, fashion and IT industries.

“Each park will be able to support skills acquisition for over 200,000 Nigerians.

“These individuals will be empowered with funds at single digit interest rate, state-of-the-art tools, high level training and networks, that will enable them to turn their ideas into a reality.

“This was the critical reason behind the CBN and the Bankers Committee decision,
following our annual retreat in December 2018, to set up the Creative Industries and
Financing Initiative (CIFI).

“The CBN and Bankers Committee believe that the little we can do is to create opportunities for these youths to access credit and bank loans to grow their
businesses.

“We cannot afford to let the talents of our youthful population go to waste, as it would portend great dangers for the progress of our nation,” he said.

According to him, efforts must therefore be made to harness the innovative and creative energy the youths, towards enabling them to create productive ventures that will support improved wealth and job creation in Nigeria.

“We intend to support the development of over 50 additional cinemas from our current
capacity of 48 cinemas nationwide.

“The cost structure of these cinemas will be lean, in order to make movies affordable to a large section of Nigerians.

“These measures which will be implemented over a 5-year period, will increase the contribution of our movie industry to GDP, from 1 to 3 per cent,”Emeifele said.(NAN)