The Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) has applauded Dr. Isa Pantami, the nation’s Communications and Digital Economy Minister for graciously relieving the burden of high cost of data by Nigerians with a reduction by 50% announced on Thursday December 10th, 2020.
Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, NFC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive in a statement issued in Jos, Plateau State and signed by Brian Etuk, Head of Public Affairs, said that the price reduction was not only timely but commendable maintaining that film production stakeholders will tremendously benefit for this new data tariff, especially as the NFC has within the past two years canvassed and as well as engaged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the adoption of a National Data Tariff Policy by government on content distribution during the past two editions of ZUMA Film Festival; themed: CONTENT CONNECTIVITY: Everyview Everywhere.
Dr. Maduekwe maintained that the foresightedness in the National Data Tariff reduction Policy will create greater opportunities for film makers to effectively utilize the internet and secured online platforms for content creation, acquisition and distribution. According to Dr. Maduekwe, “vast opportunities exist within the domestic and global digital space, which when accelerated through friendly data tariff regime can accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s creative economy”, which he maintains was the focus of the 2019 as well as 2020 Nigerian Film Corporation Annual Film Lecture, delivered by Prof. Umar Danbatta Executive Vice Chairman of NCC and Alhaji Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi of NITDA respectively.
Nigerian Filmmakers, he further said, will sustain the current conversation where several other windows and opportunities for safety nets that will promote appropriate return on investments, financial losses and risk reduction as they ply their trade. Dr. Maduekwe said that, never in the history of Nigeria have filmmakers come under intense pressure to sustain film production activities in the past few years, most especially in 2020 with COVID -19 Pandemic. He assured that robust engagements will be sustained as progress is made towards the evolvement of future national data tariff plan and policy for the motion picture industry through further reduction.
This reduction is timely since recently, the United States Department through the auspices of the U.S Embassy in Nigeria facilitated a partnership between the Catalyst Group in the United States of America and the Nigerian Film Corporation for online content creators, storytelling and distribution during the recently concluded ZUMA Film
Festival, where cross boarder exchange between Nigerian and American content creators will be explored.
The new tariff policy regime by government will give room for the monetization of content, which is beneficial to both content creators and online platforms. It will also drastically reduce incidences of piracy, since it will encourage more migration to online platforms by film producers.
Dr. Maduekwe, while nothing that the tariff reduction will among others also lead to more Nigerian viewing demand audiences to increase, assured that the NFC will leverage on the actions already taken by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy to push for a more sustainable online digital environment, with vast and unlimited opportunities for wealth and job creation by creative minds found across the length and breathe of the country. Nigerian Film Corporation, he averred will continue to power possibilities, within Nigeria’s creative sector.