From left: Head, Digital, Events & Sponsorships, Unity Bank, Bashir Salami, Founder/CEO of Sparkle Uzoma Dozie, Head, Retail & SME Banking, Opeyemi Ojesina, CEO of Kuda, Babs Ogundeyi and Partner, PwC, Chijioke Uwaegbute after a panel session on “Financing the Music” at the just concluded Social Media Week in Lagos.
By Barnabas Esiet.
Nigeria’s leading retail lender, Unity Bank, has called for more investment in the creative industry to drive its contribution to the Nigerian economy.
The Head, Personal & SME of the bank, Opeyemi Ojesina, made the call at a forum in Lagos where financing options for the music industry were explored.
Record shows that Nigeria’s music industry has witnessed an upswing over the past decade, growing by 9 per cent in 2016 to hit $39 million, and is set to grow even higher by 2021with an estimated worth of about $73 million.
Highlighting impediments to flow of credits and investment, Ojesina said the music industry needs a deliberate action plan to boost investment that will grow opportunities for entrepreneurs in the sector.
“To attract the required funding in the music industry, all the stakeholders involved must be deliberate about it but most importantly, the people in the industry must begin to understand the business of their craft and build the necessary structure that would enable financial institutions to make an informed investment decision’’, He said.
For his part, the Head of Digital, Events & Sponsorships, Unity Bank, Bashir Salami, noted that the Bank has been exploring several financing strategies to support musicians and grow the industry.
“Before the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, came out with the Creative Funding Initiative, CFI, the Bank has supported a number of artistes to promote initiatives and projects that resonates with corporate objective of the Bank,” Salami said.
He cited the endorsement deal with Adekunle Gold in 2018 as the most significant project to enhance the Bank’s contribution to the growth of the Nigerian music industry.