The Nigerian Government has granted ‘Pioneer Status’ to creative industry, meaning it is qualified for tax holiday and other incentives, Voice of Nigeria reports.
This is aimed at transforming the industry to a creative economy that can create jobs.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the decision to grant the industry ‘Pioneer Status’ is in fulfilment of the promise made by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo at the opening of the Creative Industry Financing Conference in Lagos in July 2017.
“This is a shot in the arm for the Creative Industry, and it will definitely catalyze investments in the industry. It is also the answer to our quest to spur the establishment of world class studios in Nigeria for production and post-production of movies and music videos,” the Minister said.
He explained that the need to grant ‘Pioneer Status’ to the Creative Industry and tackle the piracy of creative works were among the key issues raised by participants at the Creative Industry Financing Conference.
Increasing Importance of the Creative Industry
“It is a measure of the increasing importance attached to the industry by the Government that these issues are now being handled with utmost urgency. First, the ‘Pioneer Status’ has been granted within three weeks of the conclusion of the conference.
“Secondly, an Anti-Piracy Committee, comprising representatives of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, industry stakeholders and the police, has been set up to work out the modality for tackling piracy in a lasting and sustainable manner,” Mr Mohammed stated.
He commended the stakeholders in the Creative Industry for supporting the Government in its efforts that have succeeded in putting the industry in the front burner of the economy and made it a key plank of the government’s economic diversification policy.
“We are determined to do more for the Creative Industry in order to allow the creative talents of our youths to blossom, create massive jobs and position Nigeria as a global hub for the industry,” the Minister stressed.
The ‘Pioneer Status’ is granted to companies making investments in qualifying industries and products as tax holiday from the payment of corporate income tax and withholding tax on dividends from pioneer profits for an initial period of three years, extendable for one or two additional years.
The ‘Pioneer Status’ for the Creative Industry covers music production, publishing and distribution (including online digital distribution); Photography; Production and post-production of digital content for motion pictures, videos, television programmes, commercials, distribution and exhibition (digital movies, animation, videos, TV programmes and commercials); Publishing of books (copyrighted books) and development and Publishing of ready-made software (operating systems, software applications and computer games).