Music is a money making machine, simple. For a government that is now completely lost and bereft of any new and visible idea to turn the economy round maybe it is time for Buhari and his team to sing a new tune. Maybe it is time to look at music and the way it works in creating jobs and as a significant index in economic development.
Music can lessen the lies Lai Mohammed has to tell us in 2017, in other words. Wouldn’t that be a nice thing, for a CHANGE?
But how? We shall soon see.
First, let me say, in all fairness to the Buhari administration, that they have made repeated statements about improving the revenue prospects of the entertainment industry generally, and the music industry in particular. Lai Mohammed, the Hon Minister of Information and Culture, stated last year: ‘We are putting three bills before the National Assembly. The first is the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the second is MOPICON (Motion Picture Council of Nigeria) because we believe that we must create that enabling environment for the creative industry and the third is the bill for the Establishment of the Tourism Development Fund.’
There has been pledges in the past to provide one form of support for music development or the other. I am not saying they have not talked about making things better. I am saying they have not made anything better. Talking about making things better is different from actually making anything better.
Music is so powerful because it exists everywhere and has existed everywhere even before God, or whoever created the world, finished his work. Cadence can be found in nature, and sometimes wild echoes bear the semblance of cantata, depending on one’s mood. Because music has been around for so long it has wrapped its essence so strongly round our endeavours so much that when we started trading, it was there to accompany the transaction, cause it or celebrate it. Traditional communities throw money to the flutist/drummer and his masquerade at the village square. Today, for the same reasons, multinational companies cut fat cheques for artistes with popular songs.
Smart governments pay attention and make their development grow faster, using the music transaction medium. There is nothing you cannot do with music as a government, from using it for moulding national image to generating direct revenue for public sector development. According to International Federation of the Phonography Industry, global music sales was $5.8 billion in 2015, and performance rights revenue is growing the fastest to $943 million( up from $862 million in 2011). These are not negligible numbers and there is no reason Lai Mohammed should not lay his fingers on a lot of that cash, for our development.
All he needs to do is say he is accepting proposals. And mean it. Simple.
Let’s be fair here people, please, for a moment. We have all seen Buhari. We have all seen Lai Mohammed. They are as old as the hills, if the age of politicians in Nigeria is anything to go by. And this is by no means intended to offend (after all dem be person papa), it is just the naked fact. Nobody expects Lai Mohammed to have a sudden brain wave about innovative ways to use music and technology to push national revenue prospects. Nobody expects their so called social media and oza media assistants to do the same thing as well. You are not supposed to have brain waves if your job is, as Femi Adesina’s job is, to fall on your hands and knees and lick the ass of your oga at the top whenever you hear his name. Yes men are also useless in innovation, in other words.
But there are Nigerians with ideas out there.
Genius ideas. Spectacular ideas. Original ideas. Ideas that are quite capable of turning the industry round. Ideas that are better than Musical.ly and Vine. I have ran into one or two of these people and their ideas. But I am not the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture. Lai Mohammed is. And please, Pa Lai Mohammed, this is all you have to do. Let us all stop fooling around with lip service and actually start doing something.
Hold a proposal and ideas summit on how to use music and technology to generate revenue for national development. Let the entry process be open and free. Put a good economic team together to moderate the entry proposals. Flick at any bank and they would put this team together in a week. Pick the top ten of the ideas and fund it. Facilitate it. Maintain it. Drive it. The truth is that Nigerians have the ideas to save and help themselves. They do not just have the money or opportunity to do it. Do the needful, Honourable Lai Mohammed.
You have all the money you want to do this and if you don’t I hereby command you, on behalf of the Nigerian suffering masses, to take 100% of that 2017 ‘Sewage Charges’ budget of the State House Headquarters. They don’t have money to broker music entertainment development but they have N52,827,800 to carry shit at government house. Use that shit money for this project Honourable Lai Mohammed, let everybody go and shit in their private houses this year biko. It’s time for this government to sing us a new tune of actual development using music or we tear them a new asshole come 2019. They will see real shit then.