With a youth population of over 126 Million; an approximate 70% of the population, Nigeria and indeed the rest of the world have a lot to benefit from a fully scaled creative sector.
Our sports men and women are adored globally. Across Africa and beyond, Nollywood is a powerful export and ambassador. And music? Our homegrown talents have charmed the whole wide world with a sound no one can ignore. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the creative sector contributed over N5 trillion (i.e $16.4 billion) or 5.3% to Nigeria’s GDP in 2017.
We have seen the potential; and even the impact of recent strides in distribution, cinemas, events, promotions, exhibitions, productions and festivals.
But there is still a long way to go. How do you build a future that can ensure we stand side by side with the best industries in the world? Hollywood generated $43 billion revenue for the United states in 2018 alone.
The Staples Center is 950,000 square feet and can seat up to 20,000 guests. The biggest events venues in the world include The Las Vegas Convention Centre with over 10,000,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space and The Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany which can host up to 5,000 exhibitors and 210,000 attendees. The biggest stadium? Right there in North Korea with a capacity of 114,000. The cinema industry in India is worth over $3.7 billion.
Yet the highest grossing movie in Nigeria last year was Living in Bondage: Breaking Free – earning N157.3 million. The entire country only has around 200 cinema screens most concentrated in Lagos, Abuja, and Ibadan. The United States has nearly 40,000 screens, India has more than 13,000.
Our talents and professionals are bright and determined and pulling all the stops to make sure the industry continues to grow. But the challenges are gigantic.
How do we build the future of our dreams? How do we develop honours events of Oscar and Grammy standards? How do we erect the infrastructure necessary to support what we have to do?
We imagine a day when Wizkid and Tiwa and Rema would stand on the Grammy stand and deliver thank you speeches; a time when our movies will become global blockbusters and dwarf Hollywood projects in revenue and quality. We imagine a time when our cities will boast of multiple convention centres and skyscraper cinemas. We can even picture a time when the biggest screaming and SVOD platforms will be of Nigerian origin. And funding? We can already see a time when banks home and abroad would choose to partner with creative industries here as opposed to O&G.
But it’s all still in the imagination. It’s a good thing to dream. And you are welcome to dream with us. You must also consider this as an invitation for you to join us as one of the architects of the modern Nigerian creative and entertainment industry.
And that’s why we set up Nigerian Entertainment Conference eight years ago as an intervention to rally everyone towards building the industry of our dreams. Eight events, 450 speakers and panelists, 40 exhibitions and brands, and 12,000 attendees after, we are glad to witness and facilitate the transformation of our home entertainment; or our music and media. And we are calling on the government, practitioners, fans and investors to come to the party.
It’s time to build the future!
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