Nigerian Govt Promises N300m Startup Loans In Art Sector

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The Federal Government on Sunday night unveiled plans to support talented youths in the arts sector with N300 million start-up loans.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the disclosure at the “Spoken Words Open All White Finale’’, a poetry and music platform to encourage talents that held at Onikan, Lagos.

Mohammed said that poetry and music performances showed creativity that the government was willing to support.

“We have succeeded in securing a N300 million loan from the Bank of Industry to support young talents in the arts sector.

“Very soon, we are going to make available information to Nigerians how to access these funds.

“These loans are for start-ups to support young artists in the creative industry.

“Spoken word is a form of poetry and a lot of talents have been displayed here tonight,’’ he said.

According to the minister, the lead poet, Mrs Titilope Williams, is one of the hidden exponents of “Spoken Word”, a form of poetry in Nigeria.

He said that he had monitored her works for four years and commended her ability to capture some special issues, both social and political, intelligently.

“This is what makes this country what it is; as an abode of abundant talents and creativity and we must, as a government, try to support it.”

Reflecting on one of the poems, “Who am I?,” the minister commended the sequence of the narrative that captured the efforts of black women and the prominence of African civilisation.

“She has been able to invoke in us, things to be proud of our qualities.’’

According to the minister, it takes an intelligent and gifted person to be able to do this.

Mohammed also commended other artists, who did various songs, assuring them that their talents would attract support from the government.

Williams, the lead performer during her displays, said that being open was an opportunity to diffuse negative energies that could lead to frustration.

“I realised that people feel afraid, a lot of them are anxious and I am here to help them find direction through the spoken word,’’ she said.

She explained that the second edition of the event was possible because of the support of youths who needed an opportunity to express themselves.

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