…As The Dome, Abuja Re-capitalizes to Key into Diversification Plan
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE Federal Government, weekend said that through its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan(ERGP) the entertianment and creative industry will contribute to the economy at least $1 billion by the end of 2020.
This target the government said aligned with its policy which seeks to discourage over dependence on oil earnings, especially with the entertianment and creative sector reported to have contributed 2.3 percent which was approximately N239 billion to nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP in 2016.
Recall that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, hinging on diversification policy have seized various fora to persuade Nigerians on the need to jettison the non-oil sector and embrace agriculture or the creative industry owing to its capacity for massive job creation.
Speaking at the relaunch of the Dome, a first class recreational and entertainment facility in Abuja, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed saidt the Dome gives credence to government’s position that the non-oil sector is where Nigeria’s future lies.
The Vice President said gains recorded owing to deliberate policies on ease of doing business in Nigeria, has accounted for favourable rating through the World Bank global index report on doing business.
According to him, “Its investment like the Dome,Abuja is what Nigeria needs to push for a similar status with Dubai, which despite being an oil producer makes only 20percent revenue from oil.”
Chairman, the Dome entertainment centre, Obiora Okonkwo noted that with the unemployment index expected to rise above 50 percent, including a soaring population figure projected to hit 200 million by 2019,venture capitalists like himself have taken it upon themselves to salvage the situation.
Okonkwo, however, insisted that the need for tax holidays cannot be underscored, if the private sector must assist government meet its objectives of better welfare for citizenries.
He said, “I use this opportunity to invite government to partner the Dome in its social empowerment programme for youths. The Dome is well positioned to drive the policy and bring about the change we crave.
“Government must assist businesses such as ours to grow through generous tax breaks to enable us stabilize”.
The Dome which now boast of over 300 staff, recently recapitalised its assets to expand its recreational outlets to include bowling alley, twin cafe, the paradisio, the Francis hotel among others.