The Federal Government has granted `Pioneer Status’ to the creative industry in a landmark move aimed at transforming the industry to a creative economy and creating jobs.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday.
According to Mohammed, the decision to grant the industry pioneer status is in fulfillment of the promise made by the Acting President, Prof.Yemi Osinbajo.
He said that pioneer status was granted to companies that made investments in creative industries and products.
The minister added that pioneer status meant the companies would enjoy a tax holiday from corporate income tax payments and withholding tax on dividend from pioneer profits for an initial period of three years.
He said that the tax holiday was extendable for one or two additional years after the initial three-year period.
“The acting president, represented by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, made the promise to grant companies in the creative industry pioneer status on July 17, 2017.”
“He made the promise specifically at the opening of the two-day Creative Industry Financing Conference in Lagos.”
“The companies it concerns are those involved in music production, publishing and distribution (including online digital distribution) and photography.”
“It also covers companies involved in production and post-production of digital content for motion pictures, videos, television programmes and commercials.”
“Companies involved in distribution and exhibition (digital movies, animation, videos, television programmes and commercials) are not left out,’’ Mohammed said.
He added that companies that were into publishing of books (copyrighted books), development and publishing of ready-made software (operating systems, software applications and computer games) were also covered.
The minister noted that this was a milestone for the creative industry, adding that it would definitely catalyse investments in the industry.
He was optimistic that the new status was an answer to the industry stakeholders’ quest to spur the establishment of world class studios in Nigeria for production and post-production of movies and music videos.
“I recall that the need to grant pioneer status to the creative industry as well as tackle the piracy of creative works were among the key issues raised by participants at the Creative Industry Financing Conference.”
“It is a measure of the increasing importance attached to the industry by the Federal Government that these issues are now being handled with utmost urgency.”
“First, the status was granted within three weeks of the conclusion of the conference,’’ the minister said.
Mohammed disclosed further that an anti-piracy committee comprising representatives of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, industry stakeholders and the police had been set up.
He explained that the committee would work out modalities for tackling piracy in a lasting and sustainable manner.
The minister thanked stakeholders in the industry for supporting the Federal Government in its efforts, saying their support had resulted in putting the industry on the country’s economic front burner.
He said that stakeholders’ support had resulted in making the creative industry a key plank of the government’s economic diversification policy.
Mohammed assured that the government would do more for the industry to allow the creative talents of the youth to blossom, create jobs and position the country as a global hub for creativity.