The Nigerian Bankers’ Committee has said it would intervene in the nation’s creative and Information Technology by providing the infrastructure and capacity development, with a focus on creating jobs for economic development.
The Bankers Committee said it has identified the creative and IT sectors as critical ones that can support social and inclusive growth in Nigeria.
Addressing journalists at the end of 342 editions of their meeting yesterday, the Committee said four specific focal areas: the movie, music, fashion and IT industries have been pencilled down to benefit from the intervention. The Committee also said that it wants to help provide relevant infrastructure or rather, funding that industry participants could use to create relevant infrastructure and share the facilities for each and every area of focus.
“We believe that the sector will provide and generate a significant amount of employment, given how Nigerians in the creative sector have done well in Nollywood, Music, etcetera. It can have a significant impact on employment. Of course, Nigeria can become the heart of tourism if that whole sector is handled. It could also be a major source of foreign exchange earning capacity,” managing director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe said during the media briefing in Abuja.
However, Mr Wigwe said the specific amount for each sector has not been determined. He simply stated that the figures exist, but the details will be tidied up and agreed later this week. “We have a rough estimate. I am a bit concerned about sharing those estimates for now. They are enough to create a quantum growth in the market,” he stated.
Commenting on the intervention plan, managing director of Fidelity Bank, Mrs Tomi Somefun says the empowerment is for youth employment; to give the young people in the sectors the opportunity to unleash their potentials and talents. “This will happen with the creation of technology hubs. With our music, fashion and movies, we can create employment to power the economy,” she added.
The Bankers Committee said soft loans will be provided for people in the music industry, with very little equity – to show participation. The aim is not to create moral hazard.
“In the music sector, there could be the creation of a music academy, several tech hubs would be created in IT sector and funding for people who basically want to develop their talents as far as IT is concerned. There would be the creation of a world-class fashion shared facility for people in the sector to have access to facilities that would enable them to work as world-class operators.
“All of these efforts will happen before the beginning of next quarter where different participants, working with international institutions can start basically with the relevant infrastructure to support talent development and improvement of content in the different things that they do,” Wigwe added.
Nigeria has about 37.5 million Small and Medium Enterprises. The major challenge facing them is lack of power. That is why the Nigerian Banker is looking at how to support rural electrification authority, Central Bank, the Bankers Committee to see how finance can be deployed to power service providers to provide power to the SMEs.
Source: Mark Itsibor