Creative industry Funding, reforms of copyright system take centre stage at the second Review of Arterial Network Cultural Management Programme
LAGOS – September 14, 2016
The Arterial Network Cultural Management Programme, on Friday 9th September 2016, at the British Council, held its second Review which focused on Fundraising. It was the second of a series of events designed to address participants’ challenges through Nigerian case studies. At the morning session, the facilitator Ayodele Ganiu focused the General Review on budgeting and how lenders assess credit worthiness. This was in response to challenges identified from participants’ feedbacks.
The Fundraising Review provided the platform for participants to interact with policy makers, key stakeholders in the creative sector and representatives of financial institutions. The event had in attendance the Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) Mr Afam Ezekude, accompanied by members of senior management team of NCC. Other key stakeholders that graced the event included former Deputy Chairperson of Arterial Network (continental body) Mr Tade Adekunle; former President of National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) Mr Greg Odutayo, veteran actor and current President of Director Guilds of Nigeria (DGN) Mr Fred Amata; veteran actor Mr Albert Egbe; the General Manager of Audiovisual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) Mr Victor Nwokocha, among others.
Prior to designing the Fundraising Review, the Programme Team realised that the extent to which creative industries can attract funding and investment depends largely on the viability of the copyright system. Funding in the creative industries is stimulated by a copyright system that is compatible with international best practices and one that would ensure that owners of work, investors and other parties with commercial interests, derive maximum economic benefits from their investments of time, energy, talent and money in creative productions. A sound copyright regime facilitates development through foreign direct investment, job creation, access to credit, information, transfer of technology, trade, services, domestic innovation as well as research and development.
It is against this backdrop that the Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) was invited to present a keynote address on the status of the ongoing reforms of the copyright system. The DG who flew in from Abuja, gave an account of the journey so far with the copyright reform project which the NCC commenced in November 2012. He began with an overview of the Copyright System in Nigeria, highlighting the historical evolution, the statutory development as well as the framework of administration and enforcement. A brief focus was also beamed on some of the critical challenges of the system which provided a basis for understanding the context in which the reform project became necessary.
According to the DG, in the area of Enforcement and Regulatory Interventions, the NCC under his leadership, has carried out 270 anti-piracy operations at various locations in the country, resulting in the removal of 7, 942, 683 units of various pirated products valued at over N8.1 billion naira, with 608 suspected pirates apprehended. The enforcement action was backed up with vigorous prosecution, resulting in conviction of 54 copyright pirates at different Federal High Court Jurisdiction in Nigeria, while 172 cases are at various stages of trial. The Commission also secured significant success in its port monitoring scheme, which culminated in the seizure of 25 Containers of assorted pirated foreign and Nigerian works at the ports. So also, the Commission carried out public destruction of 749,316,187 units of seized pirated copyright works and contrivances estimated at over N10.3 billion across the nation, especially in Lagos, Kaduna, and Enugu States. These efforts have engendered a favourable perception of Nigeria in the global fight against copyright piracy, he noted.
The DG took participants through the reform project’s preparatory stage, stakeholders’ consultations, bill drafting and highlights of the bill. He concluded his presentation by informing participants and stakeholders in attendance that the updated draft bill has been submitted to the Office of the Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Justice for further necessary action towards its submission to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill.
After the keynote address by the NCC, two funding opportunities were presented by the 2 financial institutions represented at the event – Access Bank Plc and Heritage Bank Plc. The Access Bank team, led by the Group Head of Business Banking Mr Adeyemi Odusanya, focused their presentation on ‘’Partnering for Enhanced Productivity in the Nigerian Film Industry’’. According to the bank, the development challenges of the Nigerian film industry include piracy, marginal revenue, branding, distribution and financing. In spite of the challenges, the bank identified prospects and investment opportunities in movie production, film distribution, digital technology, social media and mobile Distribution.
According to Access Bank, the value chains of the Nigerian Film Industry have collective needs and challenges, some of which can be alleviated by improving access to financial services. The team noted that the Bank would adopt the value chain financing approach so as to better understand the competitiveness and risks in the film and entertainment industry as a whole to craft products that best fit the needs of the businesses within the chain.
In his presentation, the Bank’s Relationship Manager, Adeyemi Euba, described Access Nollyfund as the Bank’s financing programme worth ₦1 billion designed for licensed production companies and independent producers, to part finance the effective production and distribution of Nigerian Movies, support the purchase of new fixed assets geared towards the production of high quality movies and to part finance the expansion and enhancement of production centers and film-making hubs. Euba also explained the Access NollyFund Eligibility Criteria, the terms and transaction dynamics.
Heritage Bank Plc engaged participants and stakeholders with their entertainment banking offerings through a presentation titled ‘’Talent is Business’’ by Mr Dike Dimiri, the Bank’s Divisional Head, Enterprise Risk Management. The Bank’s approach is similar to the value chain approach. Dimiri analysed the needs of the creative industry operators as a cycle revolving around content, infrastructure, finance and content. He also explained the bank’s approach which primarily focuses on financial advisory in determining appropriate financial solutions to the needs of the sector.
The event offered a veritable platform for participants to network with key stakeholders and establish relationship new contacts with financial institutions interested in the creative industries.
Arterial Network is a Pan-African network of artists, arts organisations, creative enterprises and activists engaged in capacity building, advocacy, research, cultural policy, information dissemination, publication of reports and best practice toolkits, all geared towards growing and strengthening the cultural and creative sectors in Africa. The Network is represented in Nigeria by the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA).
The Arterial Network Cultural Management Programme is funded by Africalia and supported by the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), Goethe Institut, British Council, Department of Theatre and Film Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Asiri Magazine and The Guardian.
The programme continues on Friday 16th September 2016 with Arts Marketing Review.