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Using photography for economic diversification in Nigeria


Board member, Nigerian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce, Marc Eeckhout; exhibitor and owner NYV Lens Photography, Alvin Ukpeh and Managing Director/CEO, Sagamu Independent Power Plant Limited, Samuel Marcus Essien, at the photo show organised by Alvin in Lagos… weekend

Photography business in Nigeria is a promising one, especially, with the growth of creative industry. And with an increasing demand for photographers, more people are becoming professionals despite the challenges creatives face with intellectual property.

But the role of a photographer as a social enabler in the transformation of the society and promotion of cultural balance has once more been stressed.

At a recent conference, which attracted stakeholders in the arts and entertainment industry, as well as a photo exhibition held in Lagos, they stated that images are gateways to the soul.

According to Gabriel Ukpeh, Chairman Technical Committee Foreign Direct Investment, Akwa Ibom State, “arts is more than just a form of career; it has deep social and economic value for the country and has the capacity to become a major channel for economic diversification.”


The two-day show, which was organised by Alvin Ukpeh, a photographer on the platform of NYV Lens, was a visual representation themed around Solitude. The show captured the unique identity and value proposition of the exhibitor.

Alvin, a 26 years old graduate of Agribusiness Management from the University of West Virginia, aims to redefine photography business in Nigeria by uniting local and international artists through the exploration of contemporary social issues and images that encapsulate individual experiences and identities from across the country and Africa, leveraging photography as a powerful medium of expression.

According to him, the photography industry is experiencing a major boost, no thanks to the ongoing transformation in the digital space sweeping across the globe.

It is estimated that the industry will be worth over $150bn by 2026, he said. “There is more appeal and demand for better imagery today than a couple of decades ago given the advent of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, which has made the world a global village.”

These platforms have also increased the threshold of quality and raised the expectation from local to an international standard.

While most art shows in Nigeria focus primarily on paintings, drawings and sculptures, the exhibition saw the need to fill the gap in the arts sector of the country’s photography culture, showcasing unique works that would inspire other photographers to expand into these more creative areas.

Also speaking, the Managing Director/CEO, Sagamu Independent Power Plant Limited, Mr. Samuel Marcus Essien, said, “innovation makes the world go round. We need youths who can think outside the box, and Alvin has proven to be that person.

“This is a statement to all youths in Nigeria,” he said.

The exhibition was well attended by the crème de la crème of the arts and entertainment industry as well as members of the Nigerian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce, arts lovers and the media.


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Alvin UkpehNYV Lens
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