April 2, 2024

Unlocking the Potentials of Nigeria’s Entertainment Industry

Afro beats have grown in popularity, both locally and globally, during the last decade. Its success extends beyond music, to the film and fashion industries. The widespread availability of internet access has given rise to a subgroup known as skit makers and influencers. Currently, the Nigerian entertainment sector has the second-largest position worldwide, after Hollywood (International Trade Administration, 2023). According to a report by PwC, this industry is expected to generate a revenue of USD 12.9 billion in sales by 2027, emphasising its huge untapped potential, primarily driven by the private sector.

According to the CBN statistical bulletin,  the arts and entertainment industry contributed no less than 0.20% from 2016 to 2021. However, in 2020, the industry growth rate fell to a record low of  -3%. In 2021, there was a substantial rebound, with a growth rate of 1.72%, suggesting an improvement in the sector’s performance over the previous year. The downturn was mostly driven by the pandemic, which had an impact on industries all across the world. Hollywood, for example, suffered a $7 billion loss as a result of the pandemic. Despite these limitations, COVID-19 created a new revenue source through skits and reels, with local content creators building   sizable online followings during the pandemic.

Based on estimates from the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) the creative economy generates $2.25 trillion in yearly income and contributes 30 million jobs globally, demonstrating  the vast economic prospects that await exploration. Nigeria is  in a unique position to effectively integrate its entertainment industry into the global creative economy, establishing itself as a key player in the international market. 

Despite the industry opportunities and potential for job creation, it is still hampered by several  challenges, including substandard technology and filmmaking equipment, copyright infringements, and piracy which impede potential investments, as well as limited access to funds and a lack of robust Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). The lack of a   well-defined industry structure as well as insufficient project development and business planning impede the sector’s ability to reach its full potential. 

To overcome  these challenges and increase the industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP, the Federal government can take strategic actions in the following ways:

1. Investment in Arts and Entertainment:

The Federal government should invest in infrastructure and training to encourage the expansion of the entertainment industry. This includes building and maintaining cutting-edge studios and production facilities, as well as  executing training programmes aimed at improving   the skills and knowledge of experts in the field. 

2. Access to Funding:

Allow for easier access to funding for both new and existing participant players in the entertainment industry. This can be achieved through government grants, partnerships with financial institutions, and the creation of investment incentives. 

3. Awareness and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Protection:

Nigerians intending to navigate the entertainment industry must be educated on intellectual property to maximise their opportunities and avoid copyright infringement and unauthorised use of their content. The government must strengthen intellectual property regulations to prevent copyright infringements and piracy. A safe intellectual property environment will encourage both local and foreign investment while also protecting the rights of content creators. 

4. Establish a collaborative Industry Task Force:

Establishing an industry task force comprising industry experts, government representatives, and key stakeholders. This task force will evaluate the current state of the sector and develop a strategic plan, working together to define and implement industry standards, guidelines, and best practices. This coordinated effort will strive to establish an organised and standard framework for operations, ensuring a comprehensive approach to industry development.

This blog was written by Ditep Nantep Rejoice, Research Intern at CSEA.