By Franklin Alli
The president of Gabosky Films Inc, Gab Okoye, has given insight into why stakeholders in the entertainment industry are finding it difficult to access the $200 million African Development Bank (AfDB) facility.The fund is being disbursed through the Bank of Industry to revamp and enhance the nation’s industrial and entertainment sectors.
However, Ibrahim Ahmed, Senior manager BoI, disclosed that over N2.5 billion has been approved and set aside for the entertainment sector and only N1 billion has been disbursed so far.
Speaking during the pre-launch press briefing of G-media, Okoye stated that BoI has shown it readiness to help stakeholders tackle the challenges of the entertainment sector by funding any innovative projects such as the G-media idea which is backed by N1.8 billion from the bank.
According to him, stakeholders in the sector are not producing bankable projects to encourage the development bank release funds to them.
He observed that most of the ideas being presented to the bank lacked in-depth research and the requisite structure to be profitably sustained.
“The issue of distribution has often been identified as the major problem of Nollywood, as enthusiastic audiences across the world are unable to get their hands on the movies they love to watch due to inadequate channels which allowed piracy to thrive at a globally unprecedented 82 per cent.
“One of the results of the distribution problems of Nollywood has been the withdrawal of some of the best hands that gave the industry its early success from movie productions. When sales dropped drastically and less capable hands became the leaders of the industry, the major producers and directors thought it best to stay away from the rot,” he said.
He appealed to the professionals to come back to the sector and join hands together in order to rebuild Nollywood into a dynamic industry once again with the promise that G-Media will get their films to buyers on its new real-time auditable and sales verifiable platform.
“The first phase of the G-Media distribution project is set to commence in January 2014 with 25 ultra-modern stores spread across the country, 30 regional distributors as well as 4000 community distribution stores,” Okoye disclosed.
Continuing, Ahmed said the sector enjoys the full support of the bank’s managing director, Evelyn Oputu, who has set up a specialized division manned by dedicated professionals to attend to the needs of stakeholders.
“The bank decided to partner with Gabosky because we see the entertainment industry as a business and we are ready to deal with all that are ready to approach us in that light. Our mission is to transform Nigerian industrial sector and integrate it into the global economy by providing financial and business support services to existing and new industries to attain modern capabilities,” he said.