To encourage the creative industry in contributing to the national economy, as well as create jobs for the teeming, unemployed youths, Nigeria has entered discussions with the Moroccan government to develop sustainable bilateral relationship for the promotion of the creative economies of both countries. The discussions are hinged on motion picture co-production treaty between the two countries, including joint film production, documentaries, capacity building, festival development, content sales and access to project funding.
When the expected relationship is sealed through the signing of Bilateral Memorandum of Understanding and Treaty, Nigeria’s creative industry will witness a leap in its growth through the inflow of direct investment, with measurable impact on the economy. It is also intended to fast-track motion picture production and allied activities in Nigeria, including but not limited to the provision of access to online library of Institut Supervieur Des Matiers De L’audiovisual Et Du Cinema (ISMAC) by the National Film Institute (NFI), Jos, student/lecturer exchange programme and scholarship for students of NFI to study in Morocco at Centre Cinematographique Morocain (CCM), and provide NFC with assistance in the digitization of archival materials of the National Film Video and Sound Archive. Others include training and capacity building for Nigerian television/film professionals and broadcast stations at the 2M Maroc and participation and mounting of Moroccan Day at Nigeria’s foremost film festival, ZUMA, scheduled to hold in Abuja from December 1 – 5 among other benefits.
Describing the discussion as fruitful, NFC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, who led a delegation to Morroco, assured that Nigeria would draw from the vast resources of Morocco, in terms of access to training, capacity building, export of Nigerian films, as well as content sales for independent Nigerian producers in film and other audiovisual products.
On the home front, NFC is making plans to open a South East office to strengthen its operations in the South East geopolitical zone, with Abia State Government already allocating a six-room office accommodation.
At an elaborate ceremony to hand over the office accommodation to NFC in Umuahia, Abia State capital on Monday October 16, Permanent Secretary, Abia State Ministry of Information and Strategy, Ifeanyi Agbai, said it was the desire of the government and the good people of the state to assist agencies of government, which are up to aid the state develop fast while performing their statutory functions.
For Agbai, “Today’s ceremony is a promise fulfilled and a dream achieved.”
NFC boss, Maduekwe, thanked the government of Abia State for providing the office accommodation within the broadcasting corporation of the state’s premises at such a short notice. Maduekwe expressed optimism that it would galvanise increased film activities within Abia and its neighbouring states.
The NFC boss reiterated, “The desire of the film agency is to drive the industry by upping its current contribution to the nation’s GDP from 1.5 percent to five percent within the shortest possible time.”
The target, according to Maduekwe, is to achieve 10 percent GDP contribution within the next 10 years, and that Nollywood practitioners from the South East have been instrumental to the growth of the film industry , hence the need for NFC to locate an office in the geopolitical zone.
NFC currently has its zonal offices in Lagos, Kano and Abuja, with its headquarters in Jos, Plateau State. Two more zonal offices of NFC are to be established in due course, one each for the South South and North East geopolitical zones of the country.