The Nigerian Nollywood industry is not only one of the fastest rising industries in Nigeria, it has been dubbed multiple times as the fastest rising creative industries we have in the world. So many stories, facts, sadness and success stories surround this movie industry.

Many Nigerians have multiple times asked the pressing question “How does Nollywood affect Nigeria’s Economy” “Does it in anyway add to Nigeria’s Revenue” and how does the entertainment industry possibly benefit the country at large or are we just watching for fun?

Oya calm down, plenty questions with only one simple answer in 3 letters, Yes. The Nigerian Entertainment and movie industry contributes to the Nigerian revenue and to a considerable extent boosts Nigeria’s GDP impressively. In this article we will be  exploring the various ways the Nigerian Nollywood industry has contributed to the general well-being of our country’s Economy.

The Movie industry otherwise known as “Nollywood” is the second largest movie producer in the world with Bollywood as the first, we produce an average of 50 movies weekly and release over 2500 movies per year. Nollywood is the nation’s only movie industry and every other production and film falls under them no matter the genre or type.

The history of Nollywood is commonly traced to the early 1990s with the release of Living in Bondage being the first movie to be produced by Nigerian producers and filmmakers and also to get significant reactions. Though this was a remarkable time and official take off stage for the industry, I like to take it back to the 1960s when the Yorubas decided to take her movies from stage plays to Cinemas and home videos.

Nollywood’s break and gradual relevance began in the early 1990s and they successfully hit the $10million mark in 2001 and in 2005, was worth  $250 million. That was fast!

Over the years, Nollywood has grown, developed and evolved so much and gained global recognition, and in 2021, was worth over $6.5 billion with their movies anywhere and everywhere with ease. With Movies like Mo Abudu’s The wedding party, Funke Akindele’s Omo Ghetto and Battle on Buka Street, and Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys breaking every box and grossing millions in Dollars setting the pace.

How Do These Figures Contribute to the Nigerian economy?

Wherever movies are shot, the location and state generates more revenue because of the bookings, hotels, transportation, local labor, equipment,the fees and possibly taxes they will have to pay.

All these fees and funds add to the revenue made by the location from the shooting of a movie. Now, take a break and imagine just how much it generates to the nation at large.

Initially, everyone thought Nollywood contributed nothing except laughter and morals to the general public, till 2016, when Steve Omanufeme in an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, stated that the “importance of Nollywood was only fully realized when Nigeria’s GDP was rebased in 2014”

This rebasing consisted of arts, Entertainment,recreation, insurance, Financial companies, administrative support amongst others. Most of the services that were included during the rebasing were not there before “and some of the sectors that were included for the first time were Nollywood, the information technology sector, the music industry, online sales, and telecommunications. As a result of this rebasing exercise, Nigeria’s GDP in 2013 jumped from an initial estimate of $285.5 billion to $510 billion”.  The report further stated. And we can measure this and get the new estimate from the addition of the entertainment sector

To further drive this point home PwC published in 2021, that Nigeria’s movie industry contributed 2.3%  and around 239 billion Naira, ($660 million) to the Country’s GDP and also predicted that the industry would increase its export revenue earnings to more than $1 billion.

The movie and music industry also surpassed the 2020 predicted $806 million revenue and  instead contributed $1.8 billion dollars to Nigeria’s GDP.

According to Business Day NG, Nollywood wood has employed almost 300,000 persons in 2021, alone.  And this result was obtained from the capacity of a single move production to employ over 100 persons from pre-production to post production. Nollywood releases an average of 2500+ movies yearly which goes to prove how much people are employed in a year.

Taiwo Ogunlade, an official in FilmOne stated that more developments and improvements are coming as we are likely to see this industry become one of the key employers of Labour in Nigeria. With over one million people employed within the industry, Nollywood is commonly regarded as a major source of employment for the young populace.

The Nollywood industry on its own adds significantly to the Nigerians’s finances, then it goes on to benefit the masses by being the second largest employer of labor after Agriculture in Nigeria and a good contributor to our social and cultural heritage, it’s of no doubt and very evident the ways Nollywood adds to the nation’s finance.

By Miracle Mercus

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