Desmond Obiageli, a film maker, says Nollywood needs funds to compete with its foreign counterparts.

Obiageli said this while speaking at Lagos International Emba Week, an initiative of Lagos Business school (LBS).

People from different sectors attended the programme aimed at preparing students of LBS and alumni for business opportunities.

“Nollywood has realised that it needs to up its game in terms of production, quality of its films so as to stand shoulder to shoulder with its counterparts abroad,” she said.

“But obviously in order to do that, there’s a minimum level of investment we need to put down to enable our films compete effectively with the others abroad.

“We are having challenges of being able to access conveniently, funds that will be enable us to compete in the market.

“We need more support from the government, the corporate sector can partner with us more. The media can also help with critical coverage of the industry, the quality of films, film reviews, generally what is happening to Nigerian films both home and abroad.”

Speaking on the opportunities available in the entertainment industry, Steve Babaeko, chief executive officer of Extreme Group, said investing in the entertainment industry is paramount.

“Apart from farming, there is nothing that gives the government of any country the opportunity to create mass employment like the music and entertainment industry,” he said.

“We have 198 million people and 75% of that population are about 35 years and below. What is the unemployment rate among that demography? That is one, secondly, the music industry in Nigeria is one of the only industries that is not backed up by any fund from the government, from the banks, from any investors groups anywhere in the world but it has taken Nigeria to the world.

“This is the reason why a big company like Nike can collaborate with an artist called WizKid and they release a jersey called Star boy and in 10 minutes flat, it sold out. That is phenomenal and for every WizKid you produce, you are taking 50 to a 100 young men off the streets. For every Davido you produce, the same thing.

“It is important that we take cognizance of this industry and try to create an enabling environment for it to thrive.”

Uchenna Uzor, academic director of Lagos Business School (LBS), said the international ember week LBS initiated the task of celebrating the creative industries of Nigeria.

“We have with us participants coming from several African countries who know a lot about Nollywood but do not know about the business side,” he said.

“So what we’ve done is to invite people from the industry who then speak and expose, educate them on what it takes to invest in this industry and export our productivity and creativity to other parts of the world.”

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