The Nigerian entertainment industry is finally ready to take on the world, so reports the Vanguard newspaper (available at AllAfrica.com). Nigeria boasts the second largest film industry in the world, ahead of the US, as well as an extremely vibrant music industry. Yet while Nigerian films and music are found across the continent and the Diaspora abroad, the industries see more potential, especially for non-pirated copies. A new coalition of Nigerian organizations has set out to find the industries’ true potential.
Backed by $20million from the World Bank, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, National Film and Video Censors Board, Nigeria Film Corporation and Nigerian Copyright Commission are working on a project titled, “Harnessing the Nigerian Entertainment Industry for Formal Export.” The title may not be catchy, but the goals are lofty:
“Earlier in his welcome remarks, Mr. M. O. Ibrahim, Area Controller, South, said the NEPC had identified entertainment industry as one with huge potential in terms of generating foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria.”
The project’s main goal is to increase the revenue coming to Nigeria from foreign countries. It also hopes to “facilitate opportunities for entrepreneurs who wish to go into exports.” While the Vanguard article talks a lot about how important increasing the flow of funds into Nigeria is, and how powerful the entertainment industry is in terms of dollars, the article says little about how the new project will actually increase revenue. Afro-Leo assumes it will involve increasing the availability of legitimate Nigerian films and music in foreign markets.