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The Entertainment Industry: How It Is Shaping Nigeria’s Economy Amid Global Crisis

Japanese politician, Yoshihide Suga, has once said: “A strong economy is the source of national strength.”

Practically, there is no country that can progress without a good economy. Like its counterparts, Nigeria is greatly blessed with various industries that are impacting the country’s economy in their capacities.

These include: Information and Communications Technology, Banking, Healthcare, Utility, Consumer Goods, Oil and Gas, Entertainment

Agriculture, Construction, Hospitality and Tourism.

While the activities of all of these industries have always been an integral part of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the entertainment industry has proven to be one of the top contributors.

The Entertainment Industry

The word entertainment is simply said to be an act of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment. while Industry literally is a group of manufacturers or businesses that produce a particular kind of goods or services.

It has been established that entertainment is part of human life as it helps in relief from hectic schedules and unbearable responsibilities that have become man’s daily routine.

Entertaining activities are proven to be able to refresh one’s mind and preserve mental health as well as emotional well-being.

Moreso, some of these activities bring people closer to their friends, colleagues, and family members and even create international relations. Coined together, entertainment creates amusement and provides a diversion.

The Nigerian entertainment industry has grown drastically over the years. It is strongly believed that the industry is one of the top sources of economic development in the country.

How The Entertainment Industry Is Shaping Nigeria’s Economy

According to Statista, Nigerian entertainment in 2021 aided the country’s GDP, adding about 0.18% to it. Facts obtained also from PwC showed that the Nigerian movie industry contributed about 2.3% to the country’s GDP in 2015. The said 2.3% is about N239 billion.

International Monetary Fund ascertained that the contribution of the entertainment industry to Nigeria’s economy is about 1.45% of GDP.

Nigerian movies are rated among the best globally. The industry has grown over the years to the extent of receiving international recognition, as well as raking in heavy revenue. Nigeria’s entertainment business (Nollywood) is currently the world’s second-largest film industry.

Industry Worth – Verifiable sources established that the Nigerian entertainment industry was worth $3.6 billion in 2016 and $6.4 billion in 2021.

The sector is said to have contributed about 2.3 per cent and $660 million to the country’s GDP in 2020.

Though there were shortcomings in the Hausa films sector (Kannywood) as it is faced with marketing challenges, yet it still contributes to its quota.

Reports have confirmed that Nigerian movies are considered one of the country’s major exports. Improved storytelling and high quality of production shown in the new generation of Nigerian films have resulted in this profit as movies continue to break records.

Revenue generation – While its counterparts are bringing huge returns to the nation’s purse, the entertainment industry has been undeniably raking in millions of revenue for the country.

From the list of ten, Funke Akindele-Bello’s “Omo Ghetto: The Saga” so far is said to be the highest-grossing Nigerian film of all time.

According to the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), the 2020 comedy film grossed over N636 million, ending the four-year record by Kemi Adetiba’s 2016 film “The Wedding Party” with N453 million.

The top ten highest-grossing Nigerian films according to Wikipedia so far are:

1 – Omo Ghetto: The Saga – The movie produced by Funke Akindele in 2020 raked in total revenue of N636,129,120

2 – The Wedding Party by Kemi Adetiba in 2016 raked in N452,288,605

3 – The Wedding Party 2 – produced by Niyi Akinmolayan in 2017 raked in N433,197,377 in revenue

4 – Chief Daddy by Niyi Akinmolayan in 2018 raked in N387,540,749

5 – King of Thieves by Adebayo Tijani in 2022 has also raked in N320,805,150

6 – Sugar Rush released in 2019 by Kayode Kasum raked in N287,053,270 in revenue

7 – Christmas in Miami by Robert Peters in 2021 have raked in N265,583,000

8 – King of Boys – popular production by Kemi Adetiba in 2018 raked in N244,775,758

9 – Based on ranking, Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons produced by Gush Media Toka Mcbaror in 2018 raked in N235,628,358

10 – Merry Men 2: Another Mission produced by Moses Inwang in 2019 raked in N234,505,169 in revenue.

These films and more make room for tons of revenues from special screenings, DVD sales, online streaming and theatrical screenings outside English-speaking West Africa.

Nollywood Jobs – directly or indirectly, the Nigerian movie sector popularly known as ‘Nollywood’ has provided millions of dollars to the nation’s economy and numerous direct jobs.

It has taken off more than a million people from the streets, giving them employment to salvage the country on job creation.

The movie industry is currently being touted as the country’s second-biggest source of jobs after agriculture.

Based on the sheer quantity and quality of films being made, economic observers consider Nollywood one of the major planks on which to diversify the Nigerian economy.

It is also worthy of note that Nollywood is now the second largest movie industry in the world, coming after Hollywood and before Bollywood.

Makeup artists, cinematographers, videographers, and actors among others are some career practitioners who live upon the success of the Nollywood movies industry.

Music – This is one thing that cannot be taken away in the context of entertainment. In Nigeria, music is the ‘second soul’ to the life of the majority of the youths.

Nigeria pride itself on producing some of the top African singers. Not limited to Africa, top musicians from the country are now making global impacts, sending chills to the souls of entertainment lovers across the globe.

Juju and Afro music are genres that would always be traced back to Nigeria. In the history of the entertainment world, Nigerians have caused significant changes indeed. This is undoubtedly one way to know the stand of entertainment and how it contributed to a nation’s economy.

The likes of Fela Kuti, King Tunde, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Fatai Rolling Dollar, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Osita Osadebe, Dan Maraya Jos and many others have played their parts in the music industry.

And no doubt, their entertainment activities have yielded to the nation’s purse directly or indirectly.

In the new era of entertainers in Nigeria, the participation of the likes of Davido, Wizkid, Burna boy, Don Jazzy, etc. have contributed so much to the country’s entertainment world, which in turn helps the growth of the country’s economy.

Comedy/Skit making – This is another top-notch area most Nigerian youths are delving into in recent times. Aside from providing amusement, this sector of the entertainment industry has made thousands of young citizens self-employed and is in return impacting the nation’s economy.

Contraction Issues – A Thing To Look Into

A recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed how Nigeria’s entertainment sector comprising Motion Pictures, Sound Recording, and Music production contracted by 6% for the first time since 2019.

The data established that nation’s entertainment sector growth decline is the first dip in 7 quarters. The last time such occurred according to NBS was in the second quarter of 2020 when the GDP of the sector declined by 4.6%.

That was also the quarter where the Covid-19 lockdown hit the most with the broader economy shrinking by 6.04%.

What Has Happened? – The events that unfolded in Nollywood and the Music industry to have caused the contraction in GDP Growth rate could not be clearly stated though seeing that the sector appears to be doing quite well globally even in recent times.

And for the fact that NBS or any agency could not disaggregate the movie and music industry, it is difficult to state out with facts which sub-sector is causing the dip.

It is, however, likely that volumes are not growing despite the general public perception of the industry.

The contraction could possibly mean that major players in the industry are not experiencing growth in sales and inventory turnover despite the perceptions of the sector’s global position in recent years.

Another subject matter could be that investors in the entertainment industry are careful of the risk to return on investment, especially for long-term projects that may take time to mature.

The rising inflation and exchange rate depreciation is another thing that may have affected the industry, causing the contraction. It is perceived that the stakeholders now spend less on entertainment as they focus more on expenses on food and the basic necessities of life.

In conclusion, the entertainment industry holds a great future for the growth of Nigeria’s economy.

However, while the transformation will take a process and requires substantial steps and boldness, there is a need for openness to new insights instead of being mentally closed by existing ones.

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