The UK is committed to working with the Nigerian film and television industries as part of its commitment to support the growth and development of Nigeria‘s business and investment sector.
The UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Helen Grant, made this commitment at an inaugural two-day creative trade mission to Lagos led by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT).
She said the overall aim was for UK and Nigerian filmmakers to explore co-productions and expand their presence in both countries.
Helen Grant was joined by 30 Nigerian producers, directors, screenwriters and filmmakers, including Mo Abudu, Mildred Okwo, Michelle Bello, Kunle Afolayan, Rogers Ofime and Damola Ademola, the Nigerian filmmakers.
Actors such as Shawn Faqua, Eku Edewor and others had the opportunity to meet, network and share ideas with their counterparts within the UK delegation. These include BAFTA-nominated producer Victoria Thomas, Victoria McKenzie, Debo Oluwatuminu, Africa House London Limited and the British Film Institute. The mission engaged through a series of presentations, panel sessions and one-on-one meetings, allowing both countries to see some of the many opportunities available to them.
Speaking about the trade mission, Grant said: “Following the creative sector webinar series led by DIT Nigeria in May 2021, it was clear that there was clear interest from both the UK and Nigerian film and television industries to explore possible collaborations.
“This trade mission is a direct response to the positive feedback we received and we hope that some fruitful partnerships will be formed as a result. I hope that delegations from both countries will take the opportunity to increase their understanding of the business opportunities available to them, sign some co-production deals and open the door for the UK to capitalize on the uniqueness of Nollywood, the world’s second largest film industry. . world.”
He indicated that the government of the United Kingdom hopes to receive the delegation of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, in London on April 26, 2022 for the Economic Development Forum. There, both the UK and Nigeria will discuss and address as many market access barriers as possible, to boost trade and investment through ministerial dialogue.
Grant also welcomed Nigeria’s strong commitment at COP26 and the president’s net-zero emissions pledge, as well as Nigeria passing the landmark Climate Change Act shortly after COP26. He also outlined areas where UK Export Finance could help drive economic growth, separately highlighting how removing taxes on home solar systems for home use would lead to a nine-fold increase in revenue.
Prior to the Lagos Trade Mission, Helen Grant visited Abuja where she met with Adebayo; Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari. Discussions focused on exploring how to overcome specific barriers to doing business in Nigeria, such as foreign exchange restrictions and fuel subsidies. Grant also spoke about facilitating trade in and out of Nigerian ports and touched on specific deals within the on-grid renewable energy space where further government engagement would be beneficial.