The Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) has called for collaboration between the Nigerian film industry, popularly known as Nollywood, and financial institutions to stimulate funding and achieve greater impact on the economy.
Chizor Malize, managing director/CEO of FITC, made the call during the 5th edition of the Annual Seminar and Short Film Screening of Nollywood Creative Mind Forum held recently in Lagos, according to a statement.
“This will invariably increase the overall Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria thus stimulating growth and development and better position the country as a powerhouse in Movie production,” she said.
She emphasised the need for the industry to rethink and reposition as enterprises, demonstrate structure, financial prowess, show strong corporate governance, and longevity to keep them attracted to the financial services sector.
Malize said despite the huge potential in Nollywood, the industry remains under-funded, a challenge that can be fixed with partnerships with key stakeholders in the economy.
She highlighted the industry’s frequent funding challenges forcing some filmmakers to seek external support and assistance, with stringent requirements attached to accessing such facilities.
“Just like sports, Nollywood is too strategic an economic dynamic to be left to the vagaries of government-inspired policy intervention alone. It requires a more rigorous and robust funding intervention that will become more amenable to a private sector-driven management dynamic, than what the solely government-driven control can yield,” she said.
According to Malize, collaboration between these two powerful sectors can only lead to prosperity. She added that there are common grounds that can be reached between the Nollywood Industry and the Nigerian financial services sector.
She listed the efforts of financial institutions on past projects such as the Bankers’ Committee-led ongoing restoration and refurbishment of the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos; FirstBank-led sponsorship of the movie ‘Ayinla’ in 2020; UBA’s sponsorship of the Ebola movie titled ‘93 Days’ – a story on how Nigeria faced its first case of the Ebola virus and conquered among other partnerships.
Malize said these collaborations showed the financial services sector’s demonstrable support to the film industry through the years, and commitment to continued development and growth of the sector.
Also speaking, Ijeoma Richards, president of Nollywood Creative Mind Forum, said that professionals from the financial sector and the media were invited to see how both sectors can collaborate with Nollywood to identify new windows of openings and innovation to help develop the industry beyond where it is.
Kelechi Deca, editor-in-chief, African Economy Magazine, described the movie and entertainment sectors as strong vehicles for societal change. He advocated for more government support for the industry including collaborating with the professionals on intentional agenda setting towards changing the narratives about Nigeria.