Two hundred thousand jobs are expected to be created with the N300million Bank of Industry (BoI) credit line being extended to artists, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.
The minister said this at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between BOI and the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) in Abuja on Friday.
The MoU was presented to the minister by the NCAC Director-General, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe.
The minister said, “I have been reliably informed that top on the list of the benefits that will accrue from this landmark MoU is creation of over 200,000 jobs for the sector.
“This is epochal and in line with one of the cardinal programmes of this administration, which is job creation and empowerment.”
He also said the MoU would act as a catalyst for the development of the country’s craft industries, create a financing window and assist NCAC members in capacity building.
Mohammed also said the MoU would encourage producers of cultural products and services to work toward attaining standard of modern practices in packaging of nation’s cultural products as well as enable artists compete favourably at the global markets and earn them a decent living.
He said the details of how to access the fund would form a major part of discussions at the forthcoming meeting of Chief Executives of Culture in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Congratulating Runsewe for putting the event together, only a few days after he assumed office, he also appreciated the acting Managing Director of BoI, Mr Waheed Olagunju, for his support and partnership, describing the MoU as “a step in the right direction and one of the biggest achievements the sector had recorded in recent time.”
He said the ministry had signed an MoU with local and international partners, including the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the British Council, to develop the capacity of creative artists.
Runsewe, who said two other similar MoUs were in the offing for the development of the sector, added that it was the first time in the history of the country that the industry was given a single digit approach to loans.
Source – dailytrust.com.ng