The federal government has commended the United Bank for Africa (UBA) for its unrelenting support to the growth of the creative industry in Nigeria.
Speaking at the premiere of REDTV’s ‘Our Best Friend’s Wedding’ series in Lagos recently, the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed noted that UBA “is no doubt one of the very few organisations that truly understand the far reaching impact the creative industry can add to Nigeria’s economy.”
Mohammed applauded the high quality of the television series, saying Nigeria’s television production and creative industry have come of age with capabilities to contribute significantly to the country’s socio-economic development.
He said the contribution of the creative industry to the growth of the Nigerian economy informed the signing of a deal between the federal ministry of information and the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).
“I recall that before the memorandum of understanding we signed with TEF, we identified a plethora of problems in the creative industry ranging from systemic failure, lack of monitoring of intellectual property to lack of capacity.
“Having said that, I am particularly delighted to tell you that after organisations like the TEF and the British Council came to the rescue of the creative industry, the story has now changed for good,” he said.
Reiterating why the MoU is important to Nigeria’s creative industry, the minister described the Nigerian filmed industry pioneered by Nollywood as “the most energetic in the world” adding that it has a total estimated value of over $500 million per annum.
“It also provides jobs for thousands of people but sadly, an estimated $200milion is lost to piracy annually because of the absence of formal, legal distribution systems,” he added.
Also speaking at the event, the executive producer of the television series and UBA’s director of marketing and corporate communications, Mrs. Bola Atta appreciated the critical interventions by the government in creating an enabling environment for the creative industry to thrive.
Atta noted that the series, which is produced by Nigerians in Nigeria “is of world class standard.”
“In just a few days of its release, the series garnered over 130,000 views on the YouTube channel,” she added.
‘Our Best Friend’s Wedding’ is a romantic drama that tells the story of a young man who panics and buys an engagement ring on a whim.
He recruits his two female best friends to help go through a list of potential candidates and sets off a series of events that leads to a wedding.
The series stars Adebola ‘Illrymz’ Olowu, Oreka Godis, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, Chris Attoh, Timi Charles-Fadipe, Unamka Marycolette, Yewande Lawal, Sarah Boulos and Theo Lawson.
The premiere was attended by not a few A-list dignitaries and business leaders from different sectors of the economy.
Apart from the minister, the chairman of UBA, Mr. Tony Elumelu, group managing director of the bank, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka and players in the entertainment and film industries were in attendance.
REDTV, supported by UBA, is a dynamic online lifestyle channel that puts the spotlight on Africa with a distinct global appeal.
REDTV is a digital online television network that features the very best of entertainment, news, design, travel, fashion, music, sports, comedy and much more. The channel is available on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.