Posted on August 30, 2017
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has told stakeholders in the creative industry not to allow banks to intimidate them.
He said the stakeholders in the industry, like others doing genuine business in Nigeria, were qualified to access foreign exchange from the banks.
Emefiele spoke on Tuesday in Abuja when he received the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in his office. The minister led stakeholders in the creative industry to make a presentation to the CBN governor on the challenges and prospects of the industry.
Emefiele said government had a responsibility to support the development of talents and creativity as a deliberate policy to create jobs.
According to him, the service sector, to which the creative industry belongs, contributes 54 per cent to the country’s GDP. He added that the industry had a potential for growth, especially if a deliberate effort was made to protect talents and intellectual property.
He said, “What makes it easy for your business or your project to be bankable is when a bank sees the entire ramification of your business, the entire chain and it sees that there are no probabilities of leakage in revenue, which you are supposed to be using to repay the bank loan. Piracy is a leakage.
“Don’t allow my colleagues, I mean the banks, to intimidate you. You are entitled to buy dollars from the banks as long as you are in legitimate business. You are entitled to source foreign exchange directly from the banks.”
He said it was not true that any bank would deny those in creative business the opportunity to purchase foreign exchange from it, adding that he was ready to sanction such a bank if the claim was true.
“To say you are denied foreign exchange is not true. You can come and report any bank that refuses to do legitimate business or refuses to sell foreign exchange to you to me,” he added.
Emefiele urged the stakeholders to form clusters and also work with the CBN’s Development Finance Department to make it easier for them to structure bankable proposals that would attract funding.
The minister appealed to the CBN to replicate in the creative industry the role it played in promoting the agriculture and health sectors.
“I have watched over the years how the Central Bank has really been the catalyst in promoting agriculture, the health sector and we believe that by the time we give you our short presentation, you will see why we have come here and we have made you our first stop to further enlist the support of the government to create that enabling environment,” he said.
Mohammed stressed the need to change the perception about the creative industry as a mere entertainment instead of being a huge economic venture with the capacity to create wealth.
He said, “We need to change the perception about the industry. When people hear the creative industry, they think about entertainment. Yes, it’s correct but it’s also a very big business. It’s an economy which we have not exploited enough.
“It is an economy which is probably more sustainable than our traditional economy. It’s an economy that has the potential to employ more people and create more wealth on a long term basis.”
The minister said Industry Trust Fund would be set up to assist law enforcement agencies in the fight against piracy and urged the CBN governor to support the Fund.
Earlier in their presentation, the stakeholders in the creative industry requested the CBN to float a N400bn Stimulus Capital Fund to support the growth and development of the industry.