By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Federal Government says it will equip about 15,000 creative industry professionals by 2017, through its N–Power Creative Programme.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this on Monday at the opening of the 7th African Digital TV Development Seminar in Beijing, China.
In a statement issued in Beijing by Mr Segun Adeyemi, the Special Adviser to the Minister, Mohammed said that the figure should rise to 75,000 by the end of 2020.
He said the N-Power Creative “is a job creation and empowerment initiative by the Federal Government for the purpose of training and encouraging the development of creative and technological skills in young Nigerians’’.
The minister identified the areas of focus as animation, graphic illustration, script writing, storytelling, sequential arts, and post production.
He stressed that with such skills, young Nigerians would be able to find employment in the ever-growing creative and animation industry.
Mohammed underscored the urgent need for the country to embrace the growing animation technology in order to benefit from what he said had become a 300 billion dollars industry.
He added that the animation technology represented 25 per cent of the global audiovisual market.
The minister said that a developed animation industry would be a boost to the country’s already established entertainment industry and make the country an outsourcing destination for global animation services.
“American animation has developed as America’s sixth largest pillar industry; in Japan, the animation industry has outperformed automobile, iron & steel industries to be the third largest industry.
“South Korea has undertaken nearly one third of the global animation production business.
“The output value of global animation industry has reached over 300 billion dollars, and animation related derivatives have exceeded 500 billion dollars.
“The animation industry has gradually become a pillar of the national economy and a new economic growth engine in some countries,’’ he said.
Mohammed said Nigeria, and indeed Africa must move to grab a share of the pie by tapping into the animation boom.
He noted that Nigeria in particular, had all the ingredients for a successful animation industry with a ready domestic audience and market.
“Nigeria has about 86.2 million people online, and that is 46.1 per cent of the population, ranking it number one in Africa and number seven in the world.
“It has 44 million TV viewing homes in the country and it is expected to switch over to digital broadcasting when all 44 million homes have to invest in purchasing Set-Top Boxes.’’
Mohammed added that Nigeria’s telecommunication industry had grown to 25 billion dollars and active lines were said to be well over 113 million, ranking it number one in Africa and 11th in the world.
He said the Nigerian film industry ranked third in the world with possession of a treasure trove of literature, brimming with exciting classics.
The minister restated the commitment of the administration to developing the animation and creative industry into a new growth sector. (NAN