Stakeholders in the nation’s creative industry on Saturday called on the Edo State Government to invest in theatres, incubation centers for creative people and put in place the right policies to drive her prestigious art and craft sector.Leading discussions during the session on “Edo Creative Industry” at the Alaghodaro Investment Summit in Benin City, former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, commended Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, for creating a separate session for the creative industry, in his effort to rebrand the sector in the state.“I congratulate the Edo State Governor on this summit. For the creative industry to thrive, you need to know your strength and weaknesses. Edo State is the best located state in Nigeria. No state is as endowed as Edo State and not even my state, Cross River, is as endowed in art and craft,” he said.He recommended that as the gateway state to the South-south, South-east, South-west and the Northern part of the country, Edo State should put in the place the structures for harnessing the socio-economic gains accruable from the tourism activities in the state.“Locationally, Cross River is at the end of West Africa. What we did in Cross River was to attract foot traffic to our state.
We believed that when you attract foot traffic, people will spend money on arrival, and boost businesses in the state. Edo is better located and location is in itself an industry.”He urged Edo artistes to embrace modern technology to upgrade their processes.
Olumide Akpata, Partner, Templars, enumerated the challenges facing the creative industry as lack of policies, infrastructure, access to funding and called for a synergy between the government and private practitioners to tackle the challenges.
Film producer, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, urged the Edo State government to create a film corporation that coordinate the activities of film makers in the state.
Other speakers recommended the adoption of modern technology in the production of crafts and art works to bridge the gap between demand and supply and in marketing the works on the internet to the global market.