Sustaining NFC developmental trajectory
Sir: It is in the realisation of its key and all-important role in the nation’s development that the Federal Government set up the Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC) to mobilise and leverage opportunities within the unique Nigeria film industry for the growth of the sector and to address the digital content development gaps across the country and beyond.
Contributing 2.3 per cent (N239 billion) to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product in 2021, the entertainment industry especially the audio-visual sector has huge exponential and multiplier benefits to national development and is expected to increase its export revenue estimate to over $1 billion.
Over the years, Nigeria has been experiencing remarkable growth in its film production sector with a positive impact on employment generation and wealth creation. Producing around 2,500 films yearly, the sector is projected to record total cinema revenue of $22 million in 2021, rising by 8.6 per cent.
Today, Nigeria produces more films per year than all of Europe combined making it the second most-prolific film industry in the world and placing it an attractive investment destination.
According to Dr Chidia Maduekwe, Managing Director and Chief Executive of NFC, the Nigeria film industry has the capacity to exponentially galvanise the creative economy of Nigeria, through the massive creation of jobs for a greater percentage of the nation’s youthful population who are digital savvy and full of creativity.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has also at various times acknowledged the significant growth and contribution of the film industry to national development. It is perhaps, for Nigeria’s leading role, UNESCO stated that African cinema could create 20 million jobs if well harnessed. Identified as the fastest growing market for digital content creation and distribution for Africa, Nigeria’s creative sector is a massive untapped resource that could surpass crude oil and other non oil exports revenues.
According to the Act establishing the Nigeria Film Corporation, the corporation is charged with the responsibility for the development of the film industry in Nigeria, produce films both for domestic consumption and for export, and encouraging local talents by way of training, financial support and other related matters.
Established in 1979 under Decree No 61, the corporation is the frontline film agency of the Federal Government as a parastatal under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture. An offshoot of the Nigeria Film Unit established in 1949 as part of a drive to decentralise colonial film production in Nigeria, today, however, the corporation has come a long way in its dogged historical journey to become a significant player in global film production.
Re-energised and poised to take advantage of ICT and the new media to bridge the digital content divide, the corporation must continue to invest and power the limitless opportunities in the sector for the benefit of all Nigerians.