Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has argued that the only major way in which the government can make the creative industry attractive to investors and major players is by the provision of various several waivers, grants, tax holidays, rebates and other related incentives.
The minister spoke at the 2022 Zuma Film Festival lecture titled: “Post COVID-19 funding policy framework partnerships between the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the Nigerian Film Corporation, for the Nigerian film industry through rebates, location incentives, tax credits and film grants”,
Aliyu lamented that lip service has been paid to the establishment of a film industry development fund over the years, adding that the film industry needs a better understanding of the tax laws and how they apply to the industry.
She, however, assured that the present administration is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the tax environment is investment friendly, noting that an investor-friendly tax environment would certainly attract foreign investment because the tax incentives available within a nation’s tax environment constitute veritable opportunities for local and foreign investors to build on.
In her words; “With the return to democracy in 1999, several waivers, grants, tax holidays, rebates and incentives were given to super industrialists, who embraced all these and have been waxing very strong from available statistics.
“It, therefore, becomes very logical for us to try these same measures which have worked in the agricultural, manufacturing sectors and see if they wouldn’t also succeed in the creative industry sector. A major way in which the government can make this industry very attractive to investors and major players alike is by the provision of various incentives”.
While acknowledging that the Covid 19 pandemic has taken a toll on countries, global economics, industries, families and individuals the world over and has left humans with the “new normal”, she, however, reiterated that the FCT Administration was poised to provide all the necessary incentives that would attract the film industry into the nation’s capital city.
On his part, the Director-General and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Film Corporation, Dr Chidia Maduekwe, pointed out that the Nigerian Film Corporation Annual Lecture series remains one of the corporation’s platforms used to contribute to the evolvement of policy frameworks and documents for the development of critical areas of the nation’s creative economy.
According to him, “Policy documents and frameworks are by no means mere directional intents, rather, they are key navigational and instructional compass which provides clear and distinct objectives as well as the means to achieving them.”
Maduekwe, harps on a policy framework that would not only provide the needed opportunities but which could exacerbate the needed impetus to grow the Nigerian creative economy.
While recognising some of the challenges faced in the film production chain in the country, the NFC boss called for adequate and appropriate return on investment for film and other creative works.
“We are aware, that securing locations for a film shoot that would depict Nigeria in its beautiful state doesn’t abound.
Where they do, filmmakers find it difficult to access them. However, we believe that with the existence of a policy framework, accessibility to film locations will be achieved with ease,” he stressed.