By Olasunkanmi Akoni
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of ace comedian, Ali Baba, as Chairman of a committee of the creative industry stakeholders to look into and advise the Federal Government on the best way to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
The committee, led by Ali Baba has Anita Eboigbe of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, as Secretary.
Other members of the Committee are Bolanle Austen Peters, Charles Novia, Segun Arinze, Ali Jita, Baba Agba, Kene Okwuosa, Efe Omoregbe, Prince Daniel Aboki, Chioma Ude, Olumade Adesemowo, Dare Art Alade and Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim.
Representatives of the fashion, publishing, photography, as well as hospitality and travel sectors are also to be included in the committee, which has four weeks to submit its report.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced this at a meeting with the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, BON, on Wednesday, in Abuja.
Mohammed stressed the need for a collective and government-supported approach in dealing with the immediate, short and long term palliatives and initiatives for the industry, in order to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the Industry.
“We have, therefore, decided that instead of addressing this problem piecemeal, we should do so holistically for a more positive outcome,” he said, noting that the creative industry is a very critical sector of the nation’s economy.
He also added that and a major plank of the economic diversification policy of the Federal Government was creating the highest number of jobs after agriculture.
The minister said the terms of reference of the committee include assessing the expected impact of the pandemic on the industry in general and advising the government on how to mitigate job and revenue losses in the sector, as well as to create succour for the industry small businesses.
According to the minister, the committee is also to suggest the type of taxation and financing that is best for the industry at this time to encourage growth and also advise the government on any other measure or measures that can be undertaken to support the industry.