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The Nigerian film industry loses about N120 billion annually in spite of its ranking as the third largest movie industry in the world.

Ms Nadine Stanford, a representative of a UK-based law firm, Agape Solicitors, made the disclosure in Abuja at a workshop organised by the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB).

The workshop was organised under the auspices of the Best of the Best TV (BobTV) theatre and film annual festival at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers.

In a presentation entitled: Redefining the Business Side of the Nigerian Movies”, Stanford said the Nigerian film industry had no clearly developed distribution networks both 1ocally and internationally.

She said that figures obtained from research by Price Water House Cooper and Alder Consulting, on the industry showed that the industry was already worth about N500 billion.

“With little or no structures internationally, and non-existent or informal structures locally, the Nigerian film industry sees little or no foreign money in spite of its popularity abroad, she said.

Stanford said the lack of a clear distribution network, fragmentation in the industry and poor cinema content had deprived screenwriters, producers, actors and marketers of the benefits of their works.

She said the current trend of releasing over 2,000 movies in a year would continue to affect the quality of the movies as most of the producers seem to be in a haste in packaging their movies.

Stanford said the industry must learn to harmonise its differences and speak with one voice on issues regarding its future growth, especially in getting its returns on investments.

On statistics and buying power in foreign countries, she said five per cent of Britain's 62 million population were blacks, adding that more than 78 per cent of those population live in London.

Standford said most of the black population had taken interest in Nigerian movies” but regretted that they depended on pirates for their copies.

She said that more than 10 million blacks live Europe and 26 million in the U. S.

Stanford urged the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) to work hand in hand with marketers to evolve distribution structures and standards in the industry that would attract foreign investment.

Speaking earlier, NFVCB Executive Director, Mr Emeka Mba, said all reforms in the industry would be targeted at improving the lot of investors and ensuring that all stakeholders had their returns in the industry.

Mba said marketers must have a global perspective in order to move the industry forward.

Our correspondent reports that the marketers chided the NFVCB for trying to impose a distribution framework on them without considering the peculiar environment in which they operated.

After several hours of debate and buck passing on the ills of the industry and the inappropriateness of NFVCB reforms, the marketers and regulator resolved to work in harmony to create workable distribution network that would check leakages.