Concerns over access to NEXIM Bank’s $200m package for Nollywood

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Statistics released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that the non-oil sector is contributing to economic growth. The nation’s film industry is believed to have the potential to help diversify the economy. This was why President Goodluck Jonathan created a $200 million (about N300 million) intervention fund for the creative and entertainment sector. But, almost two years after the fund was announced, only one film, Doctor Bello, has benefitted from it, writes Entertainment Editor VICTOR AKANDE

The figures are encouraging:

Nigeria's economy grew 6.28 percent in the second quarter of this year and inflation fell for the second straight month in August. The GDP growth in Africa's second largest economy accelerated in the second quarter, up from 6.17 percent in the first quarter.

According to statistics released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the growth is driven by non-oil sector.

"The non-oil sector was driven by growth in activities recorded in the building and construction sector, while oil sector output decreased (compared with Q2 2011)," the NBS said in a report.

This is despite the fact that oil accounts for more than 80 percent of Nigerian government revenue and around 95 percent of its foreign exchange earnings. It is in search of alternative sources of growth and foreign exchange that the Federal Government tipped the country's film industry known as Nollywood.

The reasons for this are not far-fetched: In the last four years, it has consistently churned out over 2,000 films. In 2008, 2,408 films were produced; 2009 recorded 2,514 films; and 2,621 films were produced in 2010. Nollywood, as the industry is known, is ranked first in the world in quantum and third in revenue, with receipts over the years reported to range between $300m to $800m.

No wonder researches have taunted it as a viable non-oil sector money spinner for government.

But, it is generally agreed that for the industry to realise its potentials, the Federal Government must offer some stimulus. So, it was a good news when in November 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan announced his administration’s decision to offer a $200 million revolving loan scheme for the industry.

In about two months, it will be two years since the scheme was announced. But, players in the industry are raising concerns over access to the fund. Only one producer, Tony Abulu, has been able to access the fund from the Nigerian Export and Import Bank (NEXIM), one of the managers of the fund, for his film, Doctor Bello.$200m-package-for-nollywood,-others.html


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I'm ot saying this is how it is but just my thoughts - Maybe a lot of people think the fund is a 'freebie'... it isn't or shouldn't be. No good business plan with a possibility of ROI = no money. Yes it's filmmaking and you can never guarantee ROI but it has to look like you can I think.
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