The Bankers Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday agreed to provide more funding for the development of the creative sector of the economy.
The decision was made at the end of the committee’s meeting held at the CBN headquarters in Abuja.
Present at the meeting were chief executives of all the Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria as well as other top officials of the apex bank.
Addressing journalists shortly after the 342nd meeting of the committee, the Director, Banking Supervision Department, CBN, Mr Ahmed Abdullahi, said that the decision to support the creative industry was born out of the committee’s conviction that the sector held the key to job creation, poverty reduction and inclusive growth.
He was accompanied at the media briefing by the Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Mr Mudashiru Olaitan; the Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe; the Managing Director, Unity Bank Plc, Mrs Tomi Somefun; and the Director of Corporate Communication Department of the CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor.
Abdullahi said the committee was implementing programmes aimed at improving access to finance and reduce the level of poverty in the country.
Speaking further on the initiative, Wigwe said that the committee had identified four key focal areas under the creative sector to channel more funding at a single-digit interest rate.
According to him, the areas are movie, music, fashion and information technology.
He said one of the major objective of the committee in adopting the initiative was to use the sectors to make Nigeria a major tourist destination in the world.
He said the banks had agreed that the sectors would be given all the needed support both financially and technically to generate jobs, create wealth and stimulate economic growth.
He said that the banks would develop the right infrastructure and shared facilities to support the sector.
Wigwe also stated that technology hubs would be developed to support Nigerians who had business ideas to pursue in the IT sector.
He said the music sector would see the banks establishing a music academy to nurture talents for the production of good music.
He said the Bankers Committee would, before the beginning of the second quarter, start implementing the initiatives with collaboration from international institutions.
He said, “The Bankers Committee after a lot of research identified the creative and IT sector as a critical sector to support social and inclusive growth in Nigeria.
“We’ve basically found out that the sector would generate a significant amount of employment given how Nigerians involved in the creative sector have done well in music and others.”