After rebasing, Nigeria’s economy is billed to be the largest in Africa at approximately $405. This new rebasing process will capture the huge and rising activities in Nollywood, Nigeria’s film making industry.
Economists at Renaissance Capital (RenCap), an investment bank, contend that Nollywood, the third largest film making industry in the world after Bollywood and Hollywood, employs more Nigerians than the government
As at 2006 Nollywood was generating an estimated $250 million annually providing employment (often informal and part-time) “for 200,000 people as producers, actors, distributors and promoters, with a further 800,000 in make-up, props, sets, and printing”.
Quality is improving; revenues leaped to N7.2 trillion in 2013. The enhanced production and content quality of Nigerian films indicate the growing professionalism in Nollywood (the Nigerian movie sector) with the industry making an average of N1.72 trillion in 2013 analysts say.
In the last five years, the industry has been growing in terms of quality. Little wonder it has been rated the third most valuable movie industry in the world, behind Hollywood and Bollywood. The development has also impacted on returns.
Nollywood ranks third, globally in revenue. According to him, the revenue the film industry has generated in the last three years is between $300 million and $800 million.
Analysts estimate that the global film and entertainment industry generated about $90.6 billion revenue in 2010. This increased to $102.7 billion in 2012. Most of these revenue streams are from theatrical distribution. North America contributed the largest market share of about 40 percent. Europe, Middle East and Africa accounted for 24 percent, Latin America 20 percent, and Asia Pacific made only 3 percent contribution.
In recent years professionalism has improved remarkably in the industry which explains the improvement in the quality of films produced lately. It is expected that the quality of films will improve further. The year 2013 witnessed the birth of the most expensive film in Nollywood, “Half of a Yellow Sun,” which cost about N1.27 billion ($8m) to make. The movie, an adaptation of Chimanmanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel, “Half of a Yellow Sun,” was shot at Tinapa Film Studio, Cross River State, and in the United Kingdom.
Before ‘Half of a Yellow Sun,’ ‘Tango with Me’ produced by Mahmoud Ali-Balogun, ranked the most expensive film. Shot with the latest Kodak 35mm camera, ‘
In a report, the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) stated that the Nigerian film industry produces more than 2,400 films per year. This figure places Nollywood ahead of the United State’s Hollywood and behind India’s Bollywood. However, a CNN 2013 report shows that Nollywood is worth US$250 million producing 200 home videos monthly.
The commercial viability of the film industry prompted President Goodluck Jonathan to make available an additional sum of N3billion as grant to the film industry. The grant is to be supervised by the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo -Iweala and Minister of culture, tourism and national orientation, Edem Duke. The grant tagged “Project Nollywood” was commissioned in the first week of April. In addition, the Akwa-Ibom state governor, Godswill Akpabio donated the sum of 50 million naira to the industry as the President’s award for creativity.
However, industry practitioners say the prospect for Nollywood is huge in 2014 if government can adequately curb piracy that has been plaguing it for more than twenty years.
Nollywood films are becoming quite popular across Africa as they are watched on flights and bus trips. Investor confidence in Nigeria’ s entertainment industry is is equally growing: last December iROKOtv, a leading video-on-demand platform of African content, most notably Nollywood movies, raised $8m from US-based investors: Tiger Global and Rise Capital, and Kinnevik, a Sweden-based investor. This brings total capital raised by iROKOtv to $21m, making the internet company one of Africa’s most funded.
We believe that the era of perceiving Nigeria’s film making industry as peripheral is gone for good. The industry should get the attention it requires and must be nurtured properly to grow and contribute appropriately to Nigeria’s economy and society.