The Federal Government is considering financial models to help the nation's media industry fulfil its functions during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday at the 23rd joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

"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," he said. The minister stressed that the Central Bank of Nigeria had set aside creative industry financing to ensure the industry resurrected after the pandemic.

He said: "Sometimes in 2018, I led a team of the creative industry stakeholders to meet the CBN on how to provide finance for the industry. The CBN creative industry financing initiative was as a result of that effort. What we need to do is leverage this particular fund made available by the Central Bank to revive the industry.

"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 said engagements were ongoing with various sectors of the media and that the broadcasting organisation would be meeting with his ministry to explore ways of helping the broadcast industry "which we all agree is one of the biggest victims of this pandemic.


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