Ali Baba, Segun Arinze, others join Buhari’s COVID-19 Committee

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of top comedian, Ali Baba, as Chairman of a committee of the creative industry stakeholders to look into and advise the Federal Government on the best way to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.

This was announced in Abuja Wednesday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a meeting with the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, BON.

Anita Eboigbe of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, will serve as secretary of the committee.

Other members of the Committee are Bolanle Austen Peters, Charles Novia, Segun Arinze, Ali Jita, Baba Agba, Kene Okwuosa, Efe Omoregbe, Prince Daniel Aboki, Chioma Ude, Olumade Adesemowo, Dare Art Alade and Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim.

Representatives of the fashion, publishing, photography, as well as hospitality and travel sectors are also to be included in the committee, which has four weeks to submit its report, Vanguard writes.

Making the announcement, Mohammed stressed the need for a collective and government-supported approach in dealing with the immediate, short and long term palliatives and initiatives for the industry.

“We have, therefore, decided that instead of addressing this problem piecemeal, we should do so holistically for a more positive outcome,” he said.

The minister said the terms of reference of the committee include assessing the expected impact of the pandemic on the industry in general and advising the government on how to mitigate job and revenue losses in the sector, as well as to create succour for the industry small businesses.

He noted that the committee is also to suggest the type of taxation and financing that is best for the industry at this time to sustain growth and save jobs.

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