By James Emejo
The government and private sector players have been advised to fund and support the skit economy in view of its potential for economic diversification and poverty alleviation.
According to a new study by Abuja-based opinion research think-tank, Africa Polling Institute (API), lending support to skit comedians will further showcase the country’s massive talents and enhance digital content creative in the overall interest of the economy.
The report titled: “Skit Economy: An Assessment of Digital Content Creators in Nigeria”, however, lamented excessive taxes on social media platforms and decried the proposed regulation of the social media.
It further identified poor funding and lack of finance, high cost of production, lack of basic equipment, poor electricity supply as key concerns and bottlenecks hindering the growth and development of the comedy skit sector in the country.
Speaking at the launch of the report in Abuja, Executive Director Africa Polling Institute (API), Prof. Bell Ihua, described the study as extremely important given its academic relevance as there is no single scholarly literature on the subject in the country.
H said: “The study therefore, represents a novel attempt by the institute to understand a seemingly under-researched space, which is contributing significantly to the economic growth of the nation and mental wellbeing of citizens.”
Nonetheless, operators in the lamented the lack of financial assistance from the government, high cost of production, poor electricity, and excessive taxes on social media platforms major issues stifling the growth of the comedy skit sector.
The study further identified the likes of Broda Shaggi, Mark Angel Comedy, Mr. Marcaroni, Taaooma, Lasisi Elenu, MC Casino, Nedu Mallam Musa, Woli Agba, Omo Ibadan, and Bosho as the top 10 skit comedians and digital content creators in the country.
Ihua said: “It is interesting to note that cumulatively these top five skit comedians have a fan base of over 53 million followers on various social media platforms.
“In the same vein, this finding validates the platforms through which 67 per cent of Nigerians mostly watch comedy skits: facebook (50 per cent), instagram (34 per cent), youtube (18 let cent), whatsapp (15 per cent) and twitter (10 per cent) amongst others.”
According to him, the study found that 65 per cent of Nigerians consider comedy skits funny and entertaining, 20 per cent find them quite informative and 14 per cent use skits as an elixir to rest and relax.
The study also found that 91 per cent of respondents were of the opinion that comedy skits are useful in creating awareness about social trends; 83 per cent identified the role of comedy skits in correcting societal ills; while 90 per cent acknowledge its potentials for employment generation in the country.
Ihua added: “Nigerians also lent their voice as to why comedy skits have become an ubiquitous phenomenon in the society today; identifying reason such as the rise in youth unemployment (37 let cent), the ever-present need for entertainment and relaxation (22 per cent), the innate talents and creativity of Nigerian youths (18 per cent), the spate of depression and mental health (10 per cent), the need for creative education of the citizenry (5 per cent), the seemingly lucrative nature of Skit Comedy (4 per cent) and the existence of social media (4 per cent).
“The views of Nigerians were sought regarding the rise for comedy skits, their viewership and who they considered the top skit comedians in the country.”