With Creative Award, BoI pledges more support for entertainment industry
ABOUT a week after the Bank of Industry (BoI) bagged the Creative Industry Award, its management has vowed to further invest in the Nigerian entertainment industry.
BoI received the award at the British Council, Lagos, in the presence of top players in the business community and creative industry.
Apart from being one of the banks in charge of the $200m entertainment fund that the Federal Government announced for the industry in 2010, BoI has been giving loans to entertainment entrepreneurs and film makers. There are, however, indications that it wants to enlarge the scope.
According to the Group Head, Creative Desk at BoI, Mrs. Uche Nwuka, who received the award on behalf of the company, the bank works with the British Council, especially in the area of capacity building for stakeholders in the entertainment sector.
Nwuka said, “The award was presented to us as the best financial institution that has supported the creative industry. From their own analysis, they found out that BoI has been supporting the industry from the first day the government announced the need to do so based on the sector’s contribution to the GDP
“BoI has been working with some organisations, especially the British Council, in the areas of mapping out the industry and capacity training of stakeholders,” she said.
She noted that the company had supported some eight different projects in the industry, including FilmHouse, which she described as the bank’s baby.
“We supported this project without any collateral and we are happy to say that the project performed very well. This kind of contribution was also reviewed by the British Council,” Nwuka said.
Speaking on its impact on the industry, The Divisional Director, Large Enterprises of the Bank of Industry, Mr. Joseph Babatunde, said it had been working with stakeholders to erect structures that would bring profitability. He said cited the example of the establishment of cinemas by FilmHouse, which was funded by BoI. According to him, the venture is a success on the part of the bank and FilmHouse, whose initiator is Mr. Kenneth Mkparu. Babatunde said Mkparu had finished repaying the loan he got from BoI.
He said, “We introduced the idea of a collection account together with a commercial bank, so that in FilmHouse’s ticketing arrangement, the money coming in was being domiciled in that account, and as they put the money in there, at the end of every month , we got money directly from the bank.
“And it will interest you to know that that particular account has finished paying through that arrangement. The arrangement was so good that the company succeeded in repaying the full loan through the proceeds from the business – through that collection account.”
Babatunde said other projects the bank had supported are Silverbird Cinema, Ozone Cinema and Viva Cinema. It also supported the production of ‘Flower Girl and a film adapted from ace writer Chimamanda Adiche’s popular novel, ‘Hal of a Yellow Sun’.
Babatunde also assured that the bank was considering investing in other areas of the creative industry. For instance, he said a musicians’ body recently submitted a proposal for a loan to build a replication plant. Besides, the bank is considering investing in studios.
Babatunde said, “We are looking at the possibility of investing in standard studios. That is very important.