By O’star Eze
Nollywood is the name coined by Nigerians for their own home-grown movie industry. It was a mimicry of the United States of America version, Hollywood. A practice that was also adopted by the Indian movie industry and Bollywood was born. Nollywood has served as one of the highest employers of Labour in Nigeria.
In fact, according to Business Day estimates, Nollywood, which is unarguably the second largest movie industry in the world, employed close to 300,000 people in just 2021.
According to Taiwo Ogunlade, an official at FilmOne, a Nigerian cinema company, we are getting to see the industry rise to become a key employer of labour for the Nigerian youth.
“The youths are very creative and are looking for places to secure their talents and potentials, and the movie industry creates that opportunity,” he says.
Similarly, a 2021 Creative sector report by Jobberman stated that Nollywood, with proper structure, will deliver a tremendous contribution to the economy and reduce youth unemployment.
Nollywood is a key part of the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, which contributed about 2.3 percent (N239bn) to the nation’s GDP as of 2016. The industry is reported to generate between $500million and $1billion annually and is usually busy towards the end of the year.
And with more than one million people currently employed in the industry, it is seen as a major source of employment for the young population.
Recently, a report by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation projects that film industries in Africa could quadruple in revenue to $20billion and create an extra 20million jobs in creative industries.
And also by 2025, Jobberman projects that Nigeria’s creative sector in which Nollywood is part of could create an additional 2.7 million jobs.
This mind boggling statistical fact goes to show the sheer potential Nollywood has in arresting youth restiveness and other vices through skilled Labour, creative engagement and economic empowerment.
Being a strategic leader who believes in human resource development more than any other politician I know, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration would not hesitate to set up state of the art film villages in all the regions of Nigeria complete with all cinematography equipments and studios. Imagine the impact socioeconomically. Coupled with the fact that Nigerian youth compete favorably in the creative industry internationally, when this enabling environment is provided, what a great Nigeria that would be.
I never tell you finish.
According to Independent.co.uk writer, Matthew Alford, the United States government and Hollywood have always been close. He alleged that some secret documents revealed that the relationship between US national security and Hollywood goes deeper and is more political than anyone has acknowledged. The centre of military power in the US has an entertainment liaison office and “ Files we obtained, mainly through the US Freedom of Information Act, show that between 1911 and 2017, more than 800 feature films received support from the US Government’s Department of Defence (DoD), a significantly higher figure than previous estimates indicate. These included blockbuster franchises such as Transformers, Iron Man, and The Terminator,” the article ‘Washington DC’s role behind the scenes in Hollywood goes deeper than you think’ read.
In my previous article titled ‘The role of Nollywood in fostering National unity’, published on insidenollywood social media platforms, I explored the historical relationship between governments and the theatre and we saw how symbiotic and deep it has been. There is no gainsaying that fact that the Tinubu administration can gain so much in terms of changing narratives and fostering patriotism and national unity using the nollywood. It is now left for his advisers to read this and run with it. Recently, a national tabloid mentioned that Tinubu has promised to take Nigeria movie industry to enviable heights. Inside Nollywood has what it takes to consult for the Federal Government in setting up this MOU with Nollywood and other cooperate firms. A new Nigeria is possible.