Stakeholders in the Nigerian entertainment industry have urged the Nigerian government to provide structure to prosecute infringers of copyright laws, pirates, in the industry.
This was the demand at the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) – Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN) Joint Entertainment Conference/Investment Summit in Abuja.
The theme for the summit was ‘Investing In The Emerging Creative Economy.’
PMAN National President, Pretty Okafor, says the showbiz industry, which ranks first in Africa and third in the world, has refused to buckle up in the face of an increasingly gloomy economic climate.
“The creative industry is assessed to be able to generate N15 trillion annually, but however the industry loses N10.3 trillion or 85% to national and global piracy.
“Additionally, 3.7 percent is lost to uncollected earnings leaving 0.7 percent to the industry. FIRS is unable to collect N3.3 trillion or 20 percent of combined VAT and income tax for government.”
He said that the median age of PMAN members is 24 years with an approximately 12.5 million employees serving a consuming population between the ages of 15 – 54.
This according to him makes the Creative Industry the highest employer of labour in the country.
On the part of Emeka Ike, he described as the sorry state of affairs in an industry which could be a silver lining in the country’s economic cloud is still grappling with intellectual property theft.
He insists that the registration and barcoding and encoding of creative intellectual property through the biometric ID card system will definitely go a long way to rid the nation of piracy.
“Diversification of the Nigerian economy through the creative industry which can add N15 trillion to the country’s GDP through the encoding, barcoding initiatives, creative industry app,” he suggested.
Arguably one of the sectors of the economy and industry that has faced a perennial stunted growth, the Nigerian entertainment industry is still at its formative stage as an industry, largely because of what experts describe as lack of enabling environment for players to thrive.
The movie sector is still facing its worst enemy – piracy and the musical artistes are not receiving their due royalties effectively making paupers out of hardworking men and women who otherwise should be raking.