The Deputy Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr Muyiwa Akinyemi, has advised the Federal Government to take advantage of the opportunities in the creative industry for sustainable export earnings.
Akinyemi gave the advice at the annual conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) with the theme: “Boosting Domestic Capacity for Sustainable Export Earnings,” in Lagos.
He said that the country’s creative industry was the second biggest growing industry in the world spurred by the emerging digital trends in technology.
“Historically, some of us grew up in Nigeria with the groundnut pyramids in Kano, cocoa house in Ibadan and a few other places like that, but over time, when we discovered the black gold, we abandoned those our primary commodities.
“And what I see happening now is that we are moving to the third revolution of exports, ‘japa syndrome’. So, that is knowledge export that is happening right now and not only is it happening in that space, but you also have a technology revolution as well.
“Innovation Hub in Yaba portends a large pool of intelligent guys building things in the Fintech and technology world that is not even recognised, but it’s a huge potential full of export business. We are in that technology space wherein Nigeria needs to take advantage of it,’’ he said.
Akinyemi noted that 200 exporters were responsible for 95 per cent of the $4.2 billion the country earned from non-oil export in 2021.
“The $4.2 billion achieved in 2021 did not include informal exports largely in the wholesale trading in some sectors such as information technology, entertainment and solid minerals,” he said.
Akinyemi urged the government to also talk about the creative industry the same way it was speaking about export, commodities and crude oil.
He said, “most countries you go to in Africa today or globally when you talk about Nollywood, its second-biggest industry. Music, Wizkid, D’ banj, Burna boy, all huge export earnings that we have not taken advantage of.
“The knowledge and the creative skills is the third wave of export business we are seeing in Nigeria today. How are we supporting those young stars?
“It is not just to talk about them on Facebook or Instagram, it’s about how do we harness those capacities and build it to an industry that will generate massive earnings for us.’’
Akinyemi commended NEXIM, NEPC for what they were doing as well as incentives given by the Central Bank of Nigeria and a rebate scheme launched to boost export earnings.
He, however, said that should be done from the fiscal perspective for economic growth and development.