Roundtable on Nigeria’s Creative Industries Development Bill 2023 (CIDB)
Nigeria’s Creative Industries Development Bill 2023 (CIDB) is designed to bridge the gap between the Nigerian Creative industries and the Federal Government of Nigeria. If passed into law, the CIDB will become the Creative Industries Development Act (CIDA). CIDA aims to accelerate the sustainable growth of Nigeria’s creative industries through effective legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks. In line with the University of Aberdeen’s (UoA) international outlook as outlined in its Aberdeen 2040 strategy, it hosted a Roundtable on the CIDB on 22 February 2023. The Roundtable provided a critical platform for the initiator and lead of the CIDB project, Col Felix Orevoghene Alaita (rtd) to introduce the Bill and receive informed feedback that will be incorporated in it.
Greg Gordon, Professor of Law and Head of School of Law, UoA and Dr Titilayo Adebola, Theme Coordinator, Intellectual Property Law and Associate Director, Centre for Commercial Law, provided opening remarks and welcomed participants to the Roundtable. Experts on the Roundtable: Dr Eddy Wifa (Research Environment and Culture Lead, School of Law, UoA), Professor Abbe Brown (Professor in Intellectual Property Law, School of Law, UoA), Dr Emmanuel Oke (Senior Lecturer in International Intellectual Property Law, University of Edinburgh), Dr Hayleigh Bosher (Senior Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law, Brunel University London) along with academics, researchers and students shared comments on the CIDB.
Welcome Remarks by Dr Titilayo Adebola
I am delighted to welcome you to the Roundtable on Nigeria’s Creative Industries Development Bill 2023 (CIDB).
It is amazing to see “A Sunday Affair”, “The Wait” and “Shanty Town” in the Trending Now feature of Netflix. Burna Boy, Tems, and Rema delivered an electrifying Afrobeats themed halftime show at the NBA All Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, last Sunday - 19 February 2023. Grammy award winning artists from Beyonce, Brandy, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber to Madonna have collaborated with Nigerian Afrobeats artists. On a personal note, on a trip with my sister to Turkey last year, we danced to Afrobeats songs playing on the radio in our taxi in Istanbul.
Without delving into a nuanced history of Afrobeats, it is axiomatic that the rich, authentic, and multi-layered musical sounds from Nigeria are attracting global interests. While acknowledging and applauding the global interests, we must safeguard, support and strengthen national interests to ensure that Nigerian artists and associated stakeholders fully benefit from generating creative works.
The above examples from the film and music industries are only snippets of the plethora of untapped opportunities Nigeria’s creative industries offer.
In line with UoA’s commitments to international development as outlined in its Aberdeen 2040 strategy, the University is pleased to host the first academic Roundtable on the CIDB. The Roundtable provides a platform for academics, researchers and students from across the four nations of the United Kingdom to engage in critical discussions that contribute to the development of the CIDB.
The UoA has strong connections with Nigeria. The Nigerian academics, researchers and students in this room clearly showcase the University’s long-standing relationship with Nigeria. Nigerian UoA alumni include leading academics, thought leaders and entrepreneurs. For example, Professor Kenneth Onwuka Dike, an academic, historian and the inaugural Vice Chancellor of Nigeria’s first university, the University of Ibadan, studied History at the UoA from 1944 to 1947. In 1961, the UoA conferred on him an Honorary LLD in recognition of his outstanding achievements.
In demonstrating its respect for Nigeria and stance on justice, the UoA was the first institution in the United Kingdom to proactively agree to the full repatriation of a Benin bronze. On 28October 2021, the UoA fulfilled its promise through the solemn handover of a Benin bronze depicting the head of an Oba of Benin to Nigeria. According to Professor George Boyne, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the UoA, “It would not have been right to have retained an item of such great cultural importance that was acquired in such reprehensible circumstances. We therefore decided that an unconditional return is the most appropriate action we can take and are grateful for the close collaboration with our partners in Nigeria.”
Back to the CIDB, the UoA School of Law offers the best legal minds to analyse the theoretical underpinnings and potential practical implications of the core elements of the CIDB. We are also joined by leading experts from across the United Kingdom. I thank the Head of the School of Law: Professor Greg Gordon, Director of Research - School of Law: Professor Abbe Brown and Research Portfolio Leads on Environment/Culture and Impact - School of Law: Dr Eddy Wifa and Dr Rossana Ducato for their generous support. I thank our panellists and contributors: Col Felix Alaita, Mr Davidson Oturu, Dr Eddy Wifa, Professor Abbe Brown, Dr Emmanuel Oke and Dr Hayleigh Bosher. I thank you all for being here.
I, therefore, declare the Roundtable open and wish us fruitful discussions.
Objectives of the CIDB
- To provide a legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the development of a sustainable environment for the creative industries in Nigeria in line with the provisions of the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and Aspiration 5 of the AU Agenda 2063, for an Africa with a strong cultural identity and common heritage.
- To establish a Creative Industries Development Commission Board which shall be responsible for the oversight of the Creative Industries Development Commission in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
- To establish a Creative Impact Fund which shall be a repository for funds appropriated for the development and growth of the creatives industries sector.
- To establish the Creative Industries Development Commission responsible for:
- promoting and providing for the development and growth of creatives, creative industries professionals and service providers whose main focus is the creative industries, to enable them to continuously build competitive businesses that shall contribute to Nigeria’s economy;
- positioning Nigeria as the lead destination for creative industries investments in Africa, having excellent, cutting-edge talents/skills capacity;
- increasing Nigeria’s employment capacity through job creation in the creative industries; and
- managing the Creative Impact Fund.
The CIDB is currently presented in 15 parts and 61 sections. Notable provisions of the CIDB include the Rights of Creatives, Responsibilities of the State Towards Creatives, Creative Labelling, Capacity Building, Talent Development, Tax/Fiscal Incentives, Infrastructure Support and the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights. In addition, the CIDB provides for the establishment of a Creative Industries Development Commission, Support/Engagement Portal, Creative Clusters and Creative Impact Fund.
Welcome: Dr Titilayo Adebola (School of Law, UoA) and Professor Greg Gordon (Head of School, School of Law, UoA).
Background and Introduction to the CIDB: Col Felix Orevoghene Alaita (Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Country Risk Assessment and Evaluation, CIDB Initiator and Lead) and Davidson Oturu (Partner, IP/TMT, Corporate/Commercial and Dispute Resolution, Aelex).
Research Environment and Culture, School of Law, UoA: Dr Eddy Wifa (Research Environment and Culture Lead, School of Law, UoA).
Written Comments on the CIDB: Professor Abbe Brown (Professor in Intellectual Property Law, School of Law, UoA).
Comments on the CIDB: Dr Emmanuel Oke (Senior Lecturer in International Intellectual Property Law, University of Edinburgh).
Experiences from the United Kingdom's Creative Industries Regime: Dr Hayleigh Bosher (Senior Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law, Brunel University London).
Comments and Questions from Participants.
Closing Remarks: Dr Titilayo Adebola.
Selected Recommendations on the CIDB from Roundtable
- Inclusivity: Incorporate gender inclusive language throughout (female and male). Provide for an inclusive governing board that comprises a representative from the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD). This would help to protect the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) through adequate representation of their concerns, social integration of PWDs within the purview of creative industries and their access to equality of opportunity in the creative industries.
- Expand scope to include enhancing culture/cultural dimensions of creative industries.
- Clarity of terms: For example, provide comprehensive definitions of “fair/unfair contracts.”
- Clarify Roles, Qualifications and Remuneration of Commission Staff: Include a Secretary.
- New and Emerging Technologies: Consider how to frame provisions to cater to new and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence generated works.
- Delineate Responsibilities of Creatives: For example, health and safety during production (including rehearsals and performances).
- Recognise and Define Relationship with Existing National Laws and Institutions: Such as the constitution, human rights laws, competition laws, employment laws and environmental laws. Phrases such as “without prejudice to”, “in line with…” could be incorporated. For example, the rights of creatives should be rephrased to avoid restrictive interpretations.
- Recognise and Define Relationship with other relevant International Treaties/Agreements: Such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, human rights treaties and international intellectual property treaties. However, ensure the contextually informed domestication of the international treaties to suit Nigerian realities.
- Intellectual Property Scope: Expand to cover all categories of intellectual property rights. For example, creatives can benefit from geographical indications.
- Training: Include detailed training on the business and commercialisation aspects of creative industries.
- Information Platforms and Databases: Ensure sustainability and accessibility/open access.
- Creative Label: Consider its operationalisation to avoid barriers to entry and engagement.
- Budget: Generation of funds without relying on Federal Government allocations.
- Receiving Gifts, Grants and Aid: Limit excessive commercial influence.
The CIDB Roundtable was sponsored by the UoA’s Impact Enabling Fund.