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Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, government partner to support creative industry

Popular African entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu has lent his voice to the fight against piracy as it is ruining the creative sector.

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The issue of piracy and intellectual theft has come to a head between the government and pirates in the wake of a recently signed MoU.

Tony Elumelu is of the opinion that the MoU would amount to nothing if steps are not taken to actively fight piracy.

"There is piracy in the sector. You have to be the messiah. If it's not done, whatever we do amounts to nothing. Mobilise your people to fight it so as to energise more people to be part of the sector, especially film and books" he said.

The serial entrepreneur and UBA chairman said, "This is a testament not only to the creativity available in Nigeria and the wider continent but a testament to the yearning of our people for a way to turn their talent and sweat into a product and into a living for themselves and the people and communities they care about."

"And at its simplest, this is what the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Ministry of Information and Culture seek to do: channel the creativity and art of our people into value by teaching our creative ones entrepreneurial skills and creating an enabling environment for them to succeed and thrive. Because any time you are creating value you are creating a market, you are creating jobs and you are creating wealth. More importantly you are creating broad-based or "shared prosperity" that permeates various levels of society".

ALSO READ: Minister says FG to convene Creative Economy Task Force

Elumelu said that as the partnership is cemented, the ministry and his foundation would create "the best framework to support the innovation, growth and productivity of Nigeria's Creative Industries. We need to find ways to create jobs that pay a living wage and meaningfully occupy our citizens, particularly the young and enable them and our country fulfill you potential and aspirations."

The CEO of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ms Parminda Vir, who has had 30 years of work experience in the U.K. creative industry, spoke at the signing ceremony.

Her speech was on 'Development of a Framework to Support the innovation, Growth and Productivity of Nigeria's Creative Industries'.

She said that the structure of the Nigerian Creative Industry needs to be strengthened so that it can yield better results for its stakeholders. Vir also said that the creative industry needs to adopt business management model so that it can succeed.

In Vir's words, "The single most important step is to move from a mindset in which support for the creative industries is interpreted in terms of subsidies and grants, to one where it is instead understood in terms of investment with important economic and cultural paybacks."

"Bring creative industry stakeholders together with investors, financers and business leaders tasked with addressing the central issue of how to provide the necessary framework for building business capacity in the sector and for attracting sustainable investment. The issue is not about the quality of the creative talent base in Nigeria, but rather the quality of business management within the creative industries".

Vir affirmed that the MoU is very important to the Nigerian creative industry.

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