Lawyers seek increased investment in entertainment sector
Legal practitioners have advocated the need for major players in the entertainment industry to make themselves bankable in order to access available funding opportunities and to attract local and foreign investors.
The call was made during a round table meeting of experts from the entertainment industry at the conference hall of Alliance Law Firm in Ikoyi, Lagos state.
The Managing Partner, Alliance Law Firm, Uche Obi (SAN) said one of the ways major players can make themselves bankable is to organise themselves into limited liability companies, which immediately establishes a corporate structure that fund providers are more comfortable to deal with.
“Incorporate some foundational corporate governance practices in the operation of the company such as the board of directors with the responsibility of setting the strategic goals of the company, which for small companies needn’t be expensive,” Obi said.
He called on players to identify the cash flow of the business which is the core component that a credit decision would revolve around.
He said in this respect that the distribution outlets such as royalties, cinemas, VHS & DVDs, online streaming platforms like Iroko TV and Netflix are relevant cash flow projections derivable.
He added that an improved system of royalty collection must be institutionalized.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Brickwall Communications Limited, Mahmood Ali-Balogun said one of the major problems in the industry is distribution. He said poor distribution has caused businesses to run at a loss-making investor reluctant to invest more.
Balogun expressed the need for more structures and infrastructures, such as cinemas, online platforms amongst others that would enhance efficient distributions of products.
He said: “We once structured sales of movies according to batches. 40 films were released into the market every fourth night so as to give the opportunity for every movie to sell but it was fought to stoppage by different groups gaining less prior to the structure’s existence.”
Meanwhile, the CEO of ACC Broadcast Multimedia LTD, Don Obaseki said policies and bodies need to be created to regulate and organize the entertainment industry. He said legal practitioners hold a major role in drafting out policies beneficial to the industry.
Obaseki said the profession needs standardization backed by the law, thus encouraging increased interest from the legal profession.
He also noted that the paradigm of financial institutions in dealing with the industry needs to be modified and made flexible as it seems so rigid.