exx-cue-zay-mua, The Creative Arena

UK, Nigeria must explore co-productions in creative industries — Helen Grant

The United Kingdom Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Helen Grant, Tuesday, said that the UK and Nigeria need to collaborate to explore potentials in the film and television industries.

This was made known by Helen Grant during a 2-day inaugural Creatives Trade Mission in Lagos, to support the growth and development of Nigeria’s trade and investment sector.

The trade mission which was led by Grant, and spearheaded by the UK’s Department for International Trade, DIT, stated that the overarching objective of the trade mission was for filmmakers from the UK and Nigeria to explore co-productions and expand their footprint in both countries.

She said: “Following the series of creative’s sector webinars that was led by DIT Nigeria in May 2021, it was evident that there was a clear interest from both the UK and Nigerian film & TV industry to explore potential 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 both countries’ delegations will use the opportunity to increase their understanding of the business opportunities available to them, sign some co-production agreements, and open the door for the UK to tap into the uniqueness of the second largest film industry in the world, Nollywood.”

Grant further disclosed that she had recently made moves to pay courtesy visits with the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, to discuss on how to overcome specific obstacles in doing business in Nigeria, particularly forex constraints and the fuel subsidy, and trade facilitation in and out of Nigerian ports and touched on specific deals within the on-grid energy renewables space, where more government engagement would be beneficial.

She added that the UK government looks forward to hosting the Nigeria government in London on 26 April for the Economic Development Forum, where in-depth discussion will be made to address as many market access barriers as possible, in order to boost trade and investment through Ministerial dialogue.

Helen Grant also welcomed Nigeria’s strong engagement at COP26, and the President’s net zero commitment, as well as Nigeria passing the landmark Climate Change Act into law shortly after COP26.

The 30 Nigerian producers, directors, screenwriters and cinematographers who joined Helen Grant during the trade mission are: Mo Abudu, Mildred Okwo, Michelle Bello, Kunle Afolayan, Rogers Ofime and Damola Ademola, the Nigerian filmmakers. Actors including Shawn Faqua, Eku Edewor.

Others who had the opportunity to meet, network and share insights with their counterparts within the UK delegation are: BAFTA nominated producer, Victoria Thomas, Victoria McKenzie, Debo Oluwatuminu, Africa House London Limited and the British Film Institute.

By Victoria Ojeme