To tackle the challenge of effectively getting into the hands of consumers of the output of the Nigerian movie industry worldwide, the Bank of Industry has moved to tackle the problem of distribution, which is the major setback to the nation’s movie industry.
To deal with the issue, BoI is funding the country’s first credible, verifiable and controlled channel of distribution, referred to as G-Media.
According to BoI, tackling the issue of distribution besides having a multiplier effect on the industry also guarantees that the whole production process is not jeopardised by market uncertainties.
The project, which is in partnership with Nollywood distribution giant, Gabosky Films Inc, is being funded out of the $200 million earmarked by BoI from an expected $500 million grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to revamp and enhance the nation’s industrial and entertainment sectors.
Speaking at the pre-launch press briefing of G-media, Senior Manager, BoI, Ibrahim Ahmed, disclosed that over N2.5 billion has been approved and set aside for the entertainment sector and about N1 billion has been distributed so far.
According to him the sector enjoys the full support of the bank’s managing director, Evelyn Oputu, who has set up a specialised division manned by dedicated professionals to attend to the needs of stakeholders.
“The BoI decided to partner Gabosky because we see the entertainment industry as a business and we are ready to deal with all that are ready to approach us in that light. Our mission is to transform Nigerian industrial sector and integrate it into the global economy by providing financial and business support services to existing and new industries to attain modern capabilities,” he said.
He stressed that BoI would continue to support businesses in large, medium and small projects to ensure that they are able to produce goods and services that are competitive both in the domestic and external markets.
In his remarks, the president of Gabosky Films Inc, Gab Okoye, stated that BoI has shown their readiness to help stakeholders tackle the challenges of the entertainment sector by funding any innovative projects such as the G-media idea, which is backed by N1.8 billion from the bank.
He however, noted that the stakeholders themselves were not churning out enough bankable projects to encourage the development bank release funds to them even as most of the ideas being presented to the bank lacked in-depth research and the requisite structure to be profitably sustained.
He disclosed that the issue of distribution has often been identified as the major problem of Nollywood, as enthusiastic audiences across the world are unable to get their hands on the movies that they love to watch due to inadequate channels, which allowed piracy to thrive at a globally unprecedented 82 per cent.
“One of the results of the distribution problems of Nollywood has been the withdrawal of some of the best hands that gave the industry its early success from movie productions. When sales dropped drastically and less capable hands became the leaders of the industry, the major producers and directors thought it best to stay away from the rot,” he said.
He appealed to the professionals to come back to the sector and join hands together in order to rebuild Nollywood into a dynamic industry once again with the promise that G-Media will get their films to buyers on its new real-time auditable and sales verifiable platform.
“The first phase of the G-Media distribution project is set to commence in January 2014 with 25 ultra-modern stores spread across the country, 30 regional distributors as well as 4,000 community distribution stores,” Okoye disclosed.
Breaking down the technological make-up of the innovative project, George Nnanwubar Consultant, Technology Team G-Media MDMS Web-Portal, explained that Gabosky Films Media Distribution and Management Software is a cross-platform web based database application designed for the Nigerian movie industry, where content owners, licensed content manager, content distributors and consumers can connect in a controlled environment and have controlled access to stored information on the industry and its content distribution.
According to him, the project would definitely achieve its dream of transforming the Nollywood industry into a profitable business for investors and also save Nigeria from this long over-due embarrassment on the global stage.