The perennial problem of funding film projects in Nigeria may be mitigated soon as the Nigerian Film Corporation and one of the leading commercial banks in Nigeria, Access Bank are partnering to provide long-term and low interest rates to film makers in the country. The partnership is expected to provide the framework that will give access to movie makers to actualize project goals in the face of financial constraints.
At a meeting of both organizations in Lagos to fine-tune terms of the partnership, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Film Corporation, Dr Chidia Maduekwe commended Access Bank for reaching out to partner with NFC on addressing the problem of film funding which has been one of the teething problems that have challenged further development of the motion picture industry.
Dr Maduekwe said the partnership was unique since it was the first time the NFC will be collaborating with a reputable financial institution like Access Bank in providing international grants to industry stakeholders that will help fast track development and other foreign investments potentials in the sector. He said with the partnership, it is expected also that the quality of film productions will be up scaled since funds will be made available to achieve such. He however pointed out that the agency will make sure that the terms and conditions of loans will not be such that will stifle potential film makers desiring to access the facilities.
Mrs Chizoma Okoli, Access Bank Business Executive Director noted that her bank’s overriding desire to partner with the NFC, the leading film development agency in Nigeria, was to contribute to the development of the motion picture/Creative industry in Nigeria. She added that the decision was also in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Creative Industry Finance Initiative (CIFI), an arrangement put in place by the apex bank to support funding arrangement for the creative industry.
Mrs Okoli explained that Access Bank intends to foster the collaboration with the NFC by assisting to pull out fund from the CIFI and disburse to film makers as long term and low interest loans to clients under the partnership. “While the industry has been perceived to be risky by other financial institutions despite the available opportunities, we have given the CIFI a lot of mileage and have gotten over a billion naira from the fund,” she said.
The partnership with Access Bank follows the recent bilateral production agreement the NFC signed with Centre National Du Cinema et de L’image anime (CNC) of France in January 2020. The CNC/NFC collaboration would among other things ensure that artistic co-production would be financed to the tune of 135, 000 Euros for a Nigerian Director/Producer working in partnership with French Film personnel to make quality films.