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Film Financing: Providus Bank Provides Lifeline Loan to Creatives

The bank provided a favorable N5 billion loan to Nigerian filmmakers.
May 22, 2024
5:38 am
Minister Hannatu Musawa with the MD Bank of Industries Olasupo Olusi
Minister Hannatu Musawa with the MD Bank of Industries Olasupo Olusi

In a significant boost to Nigeria’s creative sector, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through Providus Bank, has pumped a Five billion Naira film fund aimed at supporting filmmakers and other creatives.


This initiative was revealed by Fegho Umunubo, the Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria (Office of the Vice President) on Digital and Creative Economy, during the premiere of Meji Alabi’s “Water and Garri” at the Livesport Event Center in Lekki, Lagos.


Umunubo highlighted that the partnership was established to overcome the challenges of traditional bank collateral requirements by providing a more favorable and accessible funding model for film industry creators. According to him, the first batch of ₦1.5 Billion has already been approved for four creatives, with plans to distribute the remainder later.


However, the funds aren’t free, as recipients are expected to return 30% of their film’s proceeds to the bank. Umunubo expressed optimism in the new partnership despite previous attempts proving futile, narrating how past beneficiaries used loans meant for film production to acquire movable property.


Other funding sources for creators in Nigeria include the $617 million Digital and Creative Enterprises (IDICE) investment fund, launched in mid-2023 to focus on capacity development, infrastructure improvement, and enhancing financial access.


Ayo Adeagbo, the Special Assistant to the President on Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy, who attended the event, reiterated the government’s commitment to uplifting the sector by formulating favorable policies and tackling piracy. One such effort is the plan to train 5,000 vulnerable women in the creative sector.


When asked about efforts to protect Intellectual Property rights and battle piracy, Adeagbo hinted at a task force tasked with addressing the issue. “We’re interested and committed to this, we have a team working on the appropriate punishments in conjunction with the ministry of Justice,” he said.


Financing is crucial in the successful realization of any project, film inclusive. Emphasizing the critical role of such partnerships and investments, Naz Onuza, founder of Inc-blot Productions–whose company co-produced “Water and Garri”–commented on his company’s recent investment agreement with private investment firm TLG Capital.


At the premiere, he said, “To make films work, we need financing…we’re very happy that we got a partner that believes in what we’re doing.”


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