Nigeria: Govt to Amend National Endowment for Arts Act

The Federal Government will amend the Act establishing the National Endowment for the Arts to enable it to play a pivotal role in responding to the demands of the sector, which has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said this in Abuja yesterday at the virtual forum of the African Union Ministers responsible for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

He said the Central Bank of Nigeria had set aside N50bn for small holder businesses and the creative industry to support the industry in the post Covid-19 era.

He said the creative industry remained the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic because it is audience-centred and, with the social distancing, ban on mass gathering and travel restrictions put in place globally, the fortunes of the industry has taken a nose dive.

"We have decided to amend the Act establishing the National Endowment for the Arts so it can better meet the demands of the sector which has been greatly impacted by the pandemic.

"This is why we have decided to face the challenges squarely.

Realizing the imperative of having a collective and government-supported approach in dealing with the situation, we have set up a 22-member stakeholders committee, cutting across art, culture, heritage, tourism, streaming, music, film, etc., to come up with immediate, short and long term economic stimulus and initiatives for the industry, in order to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the sector," the Minister said.

"I have no doubt that the measures we are putting in place will yield positive results in sustaining the Creative Industry in Nigeria in the days to come," the minister said.

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