The Federal Government is considering the media houses to be included in its financial aid for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic to enable the media to cushion the cost of its operation both during and after the pandemic.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed stated this in Abuja on Thursday during the 23rd joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
The Minister in his statement said;
“We’re not oblivious of the fact that the creative industry, which comprises the media, is the most badly affected in the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re already working towards alleviating the challenges.
I’ve been in contact with the leadership of newspapers to get a solution to the ailing economy of the newspapers and the entire media industry.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), a stakeholders’ committee held in Lagos on the creative industry and we’re almost about getting ready the list of special stakeholders’ committee that’ll address the issue of the post-COVID-19 creative industry.
As soon as we get the terms of reference, we’d announce the membership and the terms of reference,” Mohammed stated.
He reiterated that the Central Bank of Nigeria had set aside creative industry financing to ensure the industry keeps moving after the pandemic.
According to Mr Mohammed, sometimes in the year 2018, he led a team of the creative industry stakeholders to meet the apex bank and ironed out how to provide financial assistance to the industry.
The CBN creative industry financing initiative was as a result of that move.
Saying what they need to do now is to leverage on the said fund made available by the CBN to revitalize the industry.
He continued, “I’m not under any illusion that it’s going to be very easy, but if we work with stakeholders, we’ll be able to achieve the result,” Mohammed said.
He revealed engagements were underway with concern stakeholders in the various sectors of the media and that of the broadcasting organisation would be meeting with his ministry to exploit ways of helping the broadcasting industry ‘which we all agree to be one of the biggest victims of this pandemic.”