The Creative Arts Industry Can Help Nigeria Out Of Recession—Chief Okafor.

By Ikenga Chronicles November 11, 2016

Chief (Sir) Kingsley Ugochukwu Okafor has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to diversify to the economy by taping into the creative industry as part of the solutions to ending the biting recession bedeviling the nation.

The high class chief made this disclosure on Thursday during the National Gallery of Art, FCT, Competition and Exhibition in honour of the Former Minister of Information, Late Professor Dora Akunyili at the Nigeria Navy Conference Hall, Kado Abuja.

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Chief Kingsley, who was the chairman of the event stormed the occasion with his beautiful wife, Lolo (Lady) Claire Kingsley .

The Chief who spoke eloquently for about 20 minutes took the audience and the government through a historical excursion by giving an in-depth analyses and statistics of how the creative industry in the United Kingdom and California contributed massively to the nation’s economy.

The timely remark came at a time when Nigeria’s economy is under the weight of recession without any notable policy in place to tackle it.

Before delivering his remark he subtly regretted that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed was unavoidably absent while congratulating the Former Minister of Education and Co-Founder of #BringBackOurGirls, Dr (Mrs) Obiageli Ezekwesili for making out time to grace the epoch making occasion.

EXCLUSIVE: The Creative Industry Can Contribute Massively To Nigeria’s Economy–Chief Okafor

On how the government can tap from the creative industry and end recession, Chief Okafor said: “Culture and creativity is the driver of global development especially now that Nigeria is struggling to meet up the millennium development goal (Vision 2020).”

He called on the Federal Government to look inward saying ‘’we need to look inward and tap from the creative industry to put a stop to the current economic recession.’’

While reeling out statistics on how the creative industry played a great role in the economic rejuvenation of great nations in the world, Chief Kinsgley said; “Creative economy begat creative industry. What accrued to the UK economy at as 2014 is 26 Billion pounds. 26,000 people visit the British Museum daily. They are charging 20 pounds. I was there with my wife and I paid 40 pounds. If you multiply between 25,000 people to about 30,000 people that visit the museum on daily basis with 20pounds, you have approximately 600,000 pounds.”

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“This is what the British Museum brings into the UK economy on daily basis. As at 2008, the UK economy get about 8 million pounds from the creative industry put together.’’

In terms of job creation, he said ‘’the creative industry creates jobs for about 5.4 per cent of the entire United Kingdom.”

In Nigeria, he added, ‘’the fashion Industry which is under the creative industry makes about 2 trillion naira. That is what comes to this country from the fashion industry alone. If Government can tap into the creative industry we would not be in recession as of today.’’

He maintained that the National Gallery of Art can revamp the economy of Nigeria if only the government can muster the political will to invest in the creative industry which is the only solution to getting the country out of the woods.

Speaking further, he said “California, which is the hub of the creative industry and art, is the 8th largest economy in the world. If we can reap from the creative minds we have today, we will not continue to wallow in recession.”

‘’I wish the minister was here today, I hope the message will get to him, but I have sent him a message. The creative industry can revive the economy of Nigeria especially now that the oil industry is falling.’’

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While narrating a story, he said that in 1977, Dr Ekpo a, Museum Director, with a committee of six people including Professor Wole Soyinka were to strategize and to create a colloquium for FESTAC 77.

His words: ‘’The Queen Idia Mask was chosen as a symbol for FESTAC 77. But before then, the British Museum had taken away the Indian/ Benin Mask to the United Kingdom. The committee did not have any choice than to go to the UK. When they made the first trip to the UK to get the Mask, they were asked to pay 2million pounds to loan the mask that belongs to us originally! That was enough to make anybody cry.’’

Earlier in his remarks, he acknowledged the charisma of late Professor Dora Akunyili who fought the drug war with vigour and zeal. He called on the audience to look at Dora with the eyes of a creative art. Recall that Chief Kingley was the Chairman APC Presidential Campaign Council Orlu. Member, APC Presidential Council Imo State. Member of ACN National Summit 2007. Deputy National Secretary(S/East) ACN 2010, Secretary Atiku Campaign Organisation (S/East). And currently National Coordinator, National Progressives Coalition (NAPCO)

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