Since the Made-in-Nigeria Festival came to an end last October, there have been responses from concerned Nigerians calling for changes in the general approach to economic growth.
One of them, a Lagos-based lawyer, Mrs. Sandra Oyewole, in a post-event lecture, themed ‘Innovation and Technology in Nigeria as a Catalyst for Economic Growth and Development’, noted that there was a need for more investment in the creative industry.
Citing China as an example of a society that took advantage of its creative resources and greatly transformed its entertainment industry, she said that Nigeria stood a good chance of measuring up to the standard of China and other countries, such as Russia and the United Kingdom, if the people paid more attention to her creative and entertainment industry.
“When considering how to leverage and grow our economy, using innovation and technology, we should consider the goals that have been achieved. We have the talents, laws, regulatory and security agencies. There is finance, Project Nollywood and the Bank of Industry. The Nigerian Customs Service is clamping down on Importation of pirated books,” she said.
Also, describing ways to strengthen the industry, Oyewole continued, “Although some people may consider it a difficult task to continue to connect our creative and innovative industries to the economy, I think it is very possible. Other countries face similar Herculean tasks and they are able to tackle them. I say this because as noted above, we are already making inroads.”
She noted that Nigerian could copy the example of the United Kingdom by establishing an anti-piracy unit to boost her efforts to fight intellectual property theft in the country.
She said, “The Intellectual Property Office of the UK established the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, which is a specialist national police unit dedicated to protecting industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online digital content.
“Some of the successes of the PIPCU include the seizure of fake goods worth about £3m worth in September 2013; Operation Watch, which identifies 30,000 individual images of counterfeit goods on Facebook; the conviction and sentencing of individuals from an illegal music forum to various jail terms. The 51-page crime report of 2014/2015 has more details. The UK is one of the leading countries in the fight against piracy.”
According to Oyewole, the Hollywood Reporter reported that the Chinese film industry was valued at over $6.5bn in December, 2015.
Explaining how the Chinese movie industry had grown that big, she added, “The fact is that this country has recognised the role of its creative industries in economic development and boosted its value by strengthening its laws, building more studios, clamping down on piracy and counterfeiting and improving on law enforcement.”
Regarding unemployment, Oyewole also noted that a fully invigorated entertainment industry would be capable of providing employment for over 2,000 Nigerians every year. The Made-In-Nigeria Festival 2016, an international festival of ideas, innovations and opportunities, brought the world to Nigeria to explore and engage the best of Nigeria. The seven-day event offered a platform to showcase Made-In-Nigeria solutions, highlight global innovations, identify potential partnerships and connect the world to Africa’s largest economy.