The Federal Government is optimistic that the tax holiday granted to the creative industry will go a long way in transforming the sector into a creative economy.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, explained in a statement issued on Thursday that the decision to grant the tax holiday was in fulfilment of a promise made earlier by the government.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had made the promise in July while representing the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the opening of the Creative Industry Financing Conference in Lagos.
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 dividend from pioneer profits for an initial period of three years, extendable for one or two additional years.
According to the statement, the pioneer status for the creative industry covers music production, publishing and distribution – including online digital distribution – photography; production as well as 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) as well as development and publishing of ready-made software (operating systems, software applications and computer games).
“This is a shot in the arm for the creative industry, and it will definitely catalyse 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 added that the need to grant the status to the sector and tackle the piracy of creative works were among the key issues raised by participants at the Creative Industry Financing Conference.
“It is a measure of the increasing importance attached to the industry by the Federal 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,” said Mr Mohammed.
The minister thanked stakeholders in the industry for supporting the government’s efforts which he said have succeeded in putting the creative industry on the front burner of the economy.
“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.”