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Stakeholders sing collaborations to lift entertainment sector


Convener, Nigerian Entertainment Conference, Adekunle Ayeni making his opening remark

Convener, Nigerian Entertainment Conference, Adekunle Ayeni making his opening remark

At the 2016 edition of the Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NEC), the issue of collaborations among operators has been described as sine qua non if the sector must remain relevant to the economy.

Gathered at the fourth edition, held at the Landmark Event Centre, Oniru, Lagos, with the theme: “Restructuring the Entertainment Industry As Last Hope for Africa’s Largest Economy”, stakeholders at different panel sessions rallied the government to support the sector so that it growth can be more visible and become impactful across the country.

Declaring open the event, which is in partnership with The Guardian, among others, the Founder, NEC, Ayeni Adekunle, said if properly harnessed as it is been done abroad, the entertainment sector in Nigeria can contribute hugely to the economy and reduce significantly, gaps in job creations.

Adekunle said while Nigeria plans diversification, the entertainment industry could be the magic wand that will unlock the country’s economic potential, aside oil and gas. According to him, in 2013, the film industry reportedly grossed $800 million; by 2019 the market will be more than twice as big, with estimated total revenue of $8.1 billion.

He went further to say that film entertainment alone, which is estimated to worth $200 million, would move up to $3 billion, while music would be around $56 million. “Government support is still very critical in realising these potential”, Adekunle stressed.

In his contributions, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Duun Loren Merrifield Group, Sonnie Ayere, said the rebasing of the Nigerian economy in 2014, actually opened up the worth of the entertainment sector, where it contributed about N1.35 trillion to the country’s GDP, “however, that is still 0.8 per cent contribution of its worth. The India entertainment industry is estimated to worth about $17 billion, Nigeria is about $4 billion, you can see that we have huge room for growth. That growth can only come quickly with support and collaboration between stakeholders and the government. He stressed that the industry is extremely fragmented but that standardization would reposition the sector.

Sharing Ayere’s view, Artistic Director, Renegade Theatre, Wole Oguntokun, said the sector needed more collaboration, especially horizontal, if it must remain relevant. He stressed that government needed to intervene by giving more grants, among other incentives to the industry.

While also calling for more collaboration, the Chief Operating Officer, 141 Worldwide Nigeria, Olubunmi Oke, noted that players in the sector must work together in one spirit to move the sector forward.

Charging the over 1000 participants at the event, singer Bankole Wellington (a.k.a Banky W), who spoke on content creation, said entertainment entrepreneurs must create content that are unique, stressing that such a person must think global but start local, adding that it is also of essence to ensure that entrants must understand the market they are in and take the initiative as it comes.

Singer, Tiwa Savage (left); Nollywood Actress, Funke Akindele and dancer, Kafayat Kaffy Shafau

Singer, Tiwa Savage (left); Nollywood Actress, Funke Akindele and dancer, Kafayat Kaffy Shafau

He said, “I think that the structure of the music business in general needs a lot of fixing in Nigeria. We all need to come together and fix the structure. Everybody in the industry value change. Yes, the artiste record, the producer should be getting money on the back-end. They should be getting royalties for every of their music that is played.

“I always like to use 9ice’s Gongo Aso album as example. In my opinion, it’s one of the albums that have ever come out of Nigeria in our history. I think the producer that worked on it — ID Cabasa — should be getting royalty from the album. His children’s children should be eating from every music he has produced,” Banky W added.
In an interview, popular comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka, said the industry has come very far but the potential are yet to be fully tapped, stressing that government’s support for the sector remains very critical for its survival.

As a panelist, Consumer Marketing Executive, MTN Nigeria, Richard Iwenoge, said the entertainment sector really need collaboration to be able to compete more on the global stage. Iwenoge stressed that MTN has built and would build a platform that will allow artiste to monetize whatever they do that are legal.

The MTN Chief said digital content revenue is on the increase, adding that the way people consume music has change drastically, which has given opportunities for artistes to make more revenue. “MTN has built a huge ecosystem, with about 60 million subscribers; we have opened the platform for more people to benefits and earn more money”, Iwenoge stressed.

At the event pop star, 2face Idibia, was announced as the first ever Nigerian ambassador for Campari. Head of Marketing Brian Munro, the company handling the promotions and distributions of the liquor product, Abayomi Ajao, while unveiling Idibia as the brand ambassador, gave reasons why the African Queen crooner was signed as the brand’s ambassador in Nigeria.

According to him, ‘The brand has been with us for the past 50 years. Before now, we have relied on oversees ambassadors. So, we begin to look at it that why can’t Africa have its own Campari ambassador? Why can’t the ambassador come from Nigeria? So this evening, we are pleased to announce to you that from this year 2016, 2baba is a Campari ambassador for Nigeria.”

Abayomi pointed out what the Implication singer has in common with the brand that made the company collaborate with him. “We believe that there is a lot of things that 2baba has that resonate with Campari. 2baba is a hardworking guy and Campari is for the man that has worked very hard and wants to celebrate success.”

“2baba is a stylish person, a humble person. Campari is that brand that’s subtle. We feel that 2baba is a charismatic person; we feel that he has the energy; he has everything to collaborate with,” he stressed.

Other dignitaries that attended the forum included, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Lagos State, Fola Adeyemi, who represented Governor Akinwunmi Ambode; Managing Director, Multichoice Nigeria, John Ugbe; Globacom Ambassador, Bright Okpocha (Basket Mouth); Tiwa (Salvage) Balogun; Funke Akindele, among others.

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