Nollywood loses N102bn yearly in the UK
Nollywood, acro nym for the home video industry in Nigeria , loses no fewer than 800 million US Dollars (about N102 billion) yearly, due to lack of proper distribution framework of Nigerian films in the United Kingdom.
This was the submission of Agape Solicitors, a group of solicitors from the United Kingdom who recently visited the country on the invitation of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB).
The group led by Chris Adeyeni, made this declaration during its presentation, “International Profits for Nollywood” at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja . The group which described the prospects of distributing Nigerian films in the UK as very bright regretted that Nollywood has failed to capitalise on this due to improper distribution framework. Presently, Nollywood is regarded as the third largest film producer in the world, behind United States of America and India.
According to Nadine Sanford, who took the lead presentation, the major reasons for the loss is the fact that Nollywood lacks formal intellectual distribution framework and there is disunity among the filmmakers.
Nadine noted that the development of the Nigerian film industry should be the main focus of all governing bodies such as NFVCB, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC). According to her, the only panacea for Nigerian filmmakers to take maximum advantage of the UK market, is for them to get certificate and classification by NFVCB, seek legal advise, seek for a UK distributor, get UK classification and carry out anti-piracy campaigns, advertisements and road shows to get people excited.
On statistics, Nadine stated that the UK population is approximately 62 million, out of which about five million are blacks. Of the five million blacks, she submited that 1.5 million of them are Nigerians. Based on the above, she concludes that the buying power and prospects for Nigerian movie products are high.
The Director General of NFVCB, Emeka Mba, stated that the Board is working with the best intension for the industry and that the contributions of all the stakeholders would be carefully looked into. On the issue of piracy, the director general said that the Board would work in conjunction with UK authorities by taking piracy enforcement from Nigeria to the UK.
In his remarks, Afolabi Adesanya, managing director, NFC observed that government is now addressing the issue of distribution and advised stakeholders to be patient with the government. According to him, the minister of Information and Communications, Frank Nweke Jnr, has given approval to the NFC and the NFVCB to set up a fund for the making of non-commercial films. He urged the stakeholders to cooperate with the authorities to sanitise the movie industry.
Theophilus Akatugba, a Nigerian film maker who has relocated to Ghana described the present distribution structure as mysterious without any available statistics noting that the present marketers are sitting in an industry they can no longer control. Lancelot Imasuen, went philosophical in his own remarks when he declared “I have done over 150 films and cannot afford a brand new car or a house of my own. We can't shy away from global trends. My stand is on behalf of every other impoverished directors. We stand for anything than can rescue us” he stated.