‘Economy Will Be Better if We Invest More in Entertainment’


Legal practitioner, Mrs. Sandra Oyewole weeks back delivered the post Made-in-Nigeria (MAIN) Festival lecture on ‘Innovation and Technology in Nigeria as a Catalyst for Economic Growth and Development’. She said Nigeria could do better for her economy if we invest more in the creative industry like China, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

The Chinese government has taken advantage of its creative and innovative industry and that has taken the country’s entertainment industry to greater height and command global attention,” she noted.

She cited the example of ‘Felebration’ which promoters across the world have licensed the rights to host and organise in their respective countries, “we will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of China, Russia and the United Kingdom if we pay more attention to our creative and entertainment industry.”

According to her, it is not all gloom and doom for the industry, adding, “When considering how to leverage and grow our economy using innovation and technology we should consider what goals have been met. On talent, we have the talent, on laws: we have laws and there are plans to promulgate new laws. We have regulatory and security agencies like the Lagos State Law on Street Trading, there is finance like Project Nollywood and the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Nigerian Customs Service is clamping down on importation of pirated books.”

She however, highlights ways to strengthen the industry, “I want to note that while it may seem like a Herculean task to continue to connect our creative and innovative industries to the economy, it is do-able. Other countries face similar Herculean tasks and are able to definitively tackle them. I say this because as noted above, we are already making inroads.”

She pointed out that there is anti-piracy police in the UK, a step Nigeria can follow to fight intellectual property theft. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of UK established Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) a specialist national police unit dedicated to protect UK industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online digital content.

“But the fact is that this country has recognised the roles of its creative and innovative industries and by doing the following boosted its values- strengthening of its laws, building of studios, enforcement of the laws and clamping down on piracy and counterfeit,” she added. The renowned lawyer said that the broadcast media segment of the country alone can employ over 2000 Nigerians as can be seen in various Nigerian films such as ‘Invasion’, ‘Tango with me’, ‘The Gods are not to Blame’ and so many others which saw over 892 Nigerians employed.

The Made-in-Nigeria Festival (MaIN Festival) 2016, under the chairmanship of Prince Segun Oniru, is an international festival of ideas, innovations, and opportunities that brought the world to Nigeria to explore and engage the best of Nigeria. The seven-day event, which, took place recently in Lagos, offered a platform to showcase Made-in-Nigeria solutions, highlight global innovations, identify potential partnerships and connect the world to Africa’s largest economy.