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A case for the animation industry

A case for the animation industry

It is interesting that Nigeria’s economy is opening up as more local and foreign investors find virgin areas for investment in spite of challenging times. Today, online shops hitherto non-existent have investments in excess of N12 billion, with shopping activity grossing over N62.4 billion annually. The sector which has leaders such as Jumia and Konga is expected to attract more investors.

Nigeria’s Nollywood is valued at over N530 billion and remains attractive to investors. Nigeria’s software market is fast developing with local software developers, Federal Government and foreign equipment vendors all jostling to expand the scope of the market. Recently, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NIIDA) said the market has the potential of hitting over N900 billion if the industry is well developed. Another area that is budding in spite of usual less government support is the animation industry valued globally at $330 billion (about N52.14trn). Animation is said to be a display of a sequence of images to create an illusion of movement.

Cartoons on television are examples of animation. Operators in the industry say animation on computers is one of the chief ingredients of multimedia presentations. Animation is usually made with computer-generated imagery. These witty images are basically used for entertainment and also deployed for advertisement in lieu of human beings whose fees could be outrageous. It is the animation industry that made many companies such as Disney and Warner Brothers in the US world famous.

Over time, Nigerian companies have focused abroad for production of their entertainment movies and marketing commercials with the attendant capital flight calculated at over N15 billion annually. It is therefore inspiring that Nigerian entrepreneurs have mustered the courage to set up animation production studios in various parts of Nigeria which could serve both the entertainment and advertising production industries.

Read also: How animation can enhance Nigerias industry – Boye Gbenro

Just like Nollywood, the self-taught animation movie producers, individuals fired by determination to grow the greenfield sector in Nigeria, are optimistic even when there is low awareness and patronage by Nigerian companies and support from government institutions for production of animation films for entertainment and other purposes. Animation, though a universal language, is still a nascent industry in Nigeria.

Few operators in the industry calculate that animation market in Nigeria is huge but presently unexploited. In other environments such as India, Japan, USA, UK and China, animated movies are rated high and are watched by all classes of people.

Apart from entertainment and movies, animation can be used in every sector. In financial industry, for instance, operators could use animation to show the movement of stocks. It is the belief of operators that animation is best suited for the education of children on complex matters like stock movements, how to spend money and the campaign on cashless economy to show the disadvantage of carrying cash around.

But for the industry to grow, it needs adequate infrastructural support such as electricity and capital. Analysis reveals that animation studios in Europe, in countries such as France and Spain, have emerged strongly driven by the proactive steps taken by governments of these countries by offering a range of tax breaks.

While we encourage those who have taken bold steps to venture into the sector, which has the capability to generate employment, we push for government support in terms of soft loan and tax breaks for operators in the sector to break even and stimulate the young industry.