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The Federal Government has commenced moves to exploit the country’s entertainment as well as the creative industry, which has prospect to rake in at least $1billion by the end of 2020 under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
This was by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Laid Mohammed at the weekend during the relaunch of the Dome, a prestigious recreational facility in Abuja.
The aim is in line with the FG’s policy which aims to remove over dependence on oil earnings, especially with the entertainment and creative sector reported to have contributed 2.3 per cent, approximately N239 billion to Nigeria’s GDP in 2016.
Specifically, the government, emphasising on diversification policy has continued to persuade Nigerians to embrace agriculture or the creative industry owing to its capacity for massive job creation.
Vice President Osinbajo said the Dome gives credence to government’s position that the non-oil sector is where Nigeria’s future lies, adding that the gains recorded as a result of deliberate policies on ease of doing business in Nigeria, had accounted for favourable rating through the World Bank global index report on doing business.
“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,” he stated.”
Chairman, the Dome Entertainment Centre, Obiora Okonkwo noted that with the unemployment index expected to rise above 50 per cent, including a soaring population figure projected to hit 200 million by 2019, venture capitalists like himself had taken it upon themselves to salvage the situation.
Okonkwo however insisted that the need for tax holidays could not be overemphasized, if the private sector must aid government to meet its objectives of better welfare for citizens.
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,” he said.The Dome, which recently recapitalised its assets to expand its recreational outlets to include bowling alley, twin cafe, the paradisio, the Francis Hotel among others now boasts of over 300 staff.