Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government, yesterday, said it was exploring ways including financial models to help the media industry fulfil its functions during and after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said this at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
He said the media and creative industry is one of the sectors of the economy most affected by the pandemic, noting that government was not oblivious of those facts hence the plans to revive the fourth estate the realm post COVID-19.
“We are not oblivious of the fact that the creative industry, who comprises the media is the most badly affected in the COVID-19 pandemic and that we are already working towards alleviating the challenges. I have been in contact with leadership of newspapers to get a solution to the ailing economy of the newspapers and the entire media industry.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), a stakeholder committee held in Lagos on the creative industry and we are almost about getting ready the list of special stakeholders committee that will address the issue of the post-COVID-19 creative industry. As soon as we get the terms of reference, we would announce the membership and the terms of reference.”
Mohammed said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had set aside creative industry financing to ensure the industry resurrected post-COVID-19.
Mohammed also said engagements were ongoing with various sectors of the media and that the broadcasting organisation will be meeting with his ministry to explore ways of helping the broadcast industry which we will all agree is one of the biggest victims of this pandemic.
“We’ve started engaging the various sectors of the media. As a matter of fact, the broadcaster organisations will be meeting with my ministry either on Tuesday or Wednesday so we can explore ways of helping the broadcast industry which we all agree is the biggest victim of this pandemic. I have always been in contact with the leadership of newspapers and we intend to also ramp up the meeting with them so we can get a solution to the ailing economy of the newspaper and the entire media industry. I also received calls from leadership of the hoteliers who complained that all the hotels are shut, and there is no business. We are meeting with all these groups.”