Nigeria’s $5billion cultural economy

July 26, 2017

New research shows that Nigeria’ s creative and cultural industries contribute more than $5 billion annually to the national economy. In the research report, leading figures in Nigeria’s arts community say they are not surprised at the sector’s contribution to the economy and hope its growth can help counter recent job losses in several industries.The data is the first statistical analysis concentrated on the role of the sectors in the national economy.Its definition of creative industries includes broadcast and print media, film, music, fashion, the visual arts and cultural institutions such as museums and libraries.The largest contributors to the sector include design, fashion and publishing which includes literature and the print media. Those sectors employed an average of 5,000,000 people, while volunteer services were estimated to be worth $400 million to the economy.The contribution of the industries to Nigeria’s GDP outranks that of countries including South Africa, Algeria, Ghana and Kenya, but this reflects the broader definition of cultural and creative sectors in this study.The statistics are based on the 2014-15 national accounts. Statistics for more recent financial years will be assessed in coming months and your blogger will share the analysis here.The statistics were based on information from the census and the non-profit sector.One of the researcher involved informed your blogger that Nigeria’s sports sector would be the next area scrutinized in a similar manner.Good news is that most of organizations in Nigeria involved in creative economy are active in attempting to engage young people in recruiting and training. Most of them hold information sessions with high schools to inform students about pathways into the industry.In addition, the researcher said the figures would help the sector to be taken more seriously as a growing economic force and attract extra funding to employ more people in Nigeria that has been seriously affected by lack of job. It hammers home that creative industries are an economic driver.By industrial sector, gross value added estimates was broken down as design, literature and print media, fashion, broadcasting, digital media and film.

The cultural and creative sector produces more gross value added than health care, but less than construction. There were about 5 million employees in this sector, with a quarter of those working in cultural and creative occupations outside the cultural and creative industries. There are more than 500,000 business or non-profit organizations in the cultural and creative industries sector in Nigeria according to the data.There is much more detail that your blogger could report from the statistics. One of them is that the cultural and creative industries are large, vibrant and growing, and it is the creative, market-facing parts that are doing most of the heavy lifting. That is entirely unsurprising, these sectors can grow because they face not just millions of Nigerians but more than a billion of potential African consumers.The single most important factor driving and shaping the Nigerian cultural and creative economy is the regional and global marketplaces. And within that, Nigeria’s single greatest advantage is that it is a multi-cultural English-speaking nation, meaning that it has a comparative advantage in cultural content production for a global market.The factor most accelerating this is the rise and spread of digital and computational technologies into all corners of cultural and creative production. This lowers the cost of production and distribution, increases access and variety, creates new platforms, and makes possible new business models.A further significant trend is the long-run growth in household wealth in Nigeria. This increases the quantity of household spending and, consequentially, demand for cultural and creative content. Factors such as globalization, technology and wealth are not the only things that matter, but have played a significant role. Going forward, the most important policy forces that will affect the cultural and creative economy in Nigeria will not mainly be those from within Nigerian cultural and creative industry but rather those factors that will affect the global economy, digital technology development and adoption, as well as the factors affecting household wealth.

Contador Harrison