The Nigerian home video industry has created more than 500,000 jobs in the last four years. This was disclosed by industry experts at a gathering in Lagos organized by Best of the Best TV (BOBTV) 2005, to highlight the programmes of the 2nd African Film and Television Market, billed to take place at Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja between 14 and 17 March, this year.
Chiagozie Hilary-Nwokonko, Business Consultant, BOBTV 2005, said Nigeria\'s production capacity of slightly more than 2,500 movies every year attests to the industryÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¾ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢s enterprise, adding that activities within the industry provides employment for 125,000 Nigerians per year and drives an informal economy of N25billion annually.
He said the peculiar nature of the motion picture medium as conveyor of culture, lifestyle, destination, tourism and other values has found great expression on the African continent, as Nigerian movies have become priority viewing in most African countries.
\"The phenomenon of Nigerian movies has spawned new industries in South Africa, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia and, and supports a vast economic community in Europe and America\", he stated.
It was learnt that the international economy driven by the Nigerian movie production community particularly in Europe and United States of America is estimated in excess of $190million per year.
On the future of the industry, he said the greatest urgency \"is a formal distribution support structure that services the local and international demand for Nigerian movies. This shall guarantee jobs, generate new employment opportunities and maintain global competitive advantage which has been won by our entrepreneurs\", Hilary-Nwokonko said. The distribution structure shall involve the traditional cinema chains, video rentals, video retails, markets for broadcast rights and other rights.
According to the expert, Nigeria has the capacity for 5,000 cinemas, and 100 cinemas running at 50 percent patronage would generate N3.24billion annually.
On the issue of piracy, he drew attention to the arrest of Chinese and Taiwanese counterfeiters and video pirates along with their Nigerian accomplices, saying \"they were generating N25million monthly on bootlegged Nigerian and foreign movies\".
The experts revealed to BUSINESSDAY that one of the pirates was said to have invested more than $7million in the equipment used for the economic sabotage. In view of this, Amaka Igwe, Chief Executive Officer, BOBTV 2005, said \"there is the need to see an end to the indiscriminate import and export of our movies, which are national economic resources\". She noted that Nigeria is entitled to all revenue generated by products or services created by its citizens in Nigeria or abroad.
\"This is the principle that underpins the desire for the trade in the Nigerian movies to be brought into the documented trade area to enable the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or other government agencies keep track of the immense cash flows emanating from the movie industry\", she stated .
Speaking on the objective of BOBTV, she said \"it is to bring to your attention the opportunities and realities facing the entrepreneurs ,pioneers, visionaries and fearless adventurers who have taken on the main challenge of finding a voice for Nigeria and indeed Africa, in the intensely competitive and elite global movie industry\".
By Enam Obiosio & Chris OKEKE, BusinessDay