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Access Bank lifts creative industry with N20b facility


Access Bank Plc has announced the disbursement of N20 billion loans to beneficiaries in the entertainment industry under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The fund, which represents the first tranche of the loans, was made accessible to the borrowers in the sector.

Currently, the Nigeria creative market is regarded as one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with massive global revenues in entertainment and media set to be generated in less-developed markets and economies where spending on a per capita basis is generally quite low.

Access Bank also re-launched The Dome, a high-end entertainment and leisure multiplex in Abuja. The introduction of Art X in Lagos, as well as the historical relevance of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Nigeria, was an important moment for the economy.

While the CBN mandated that banks should create a budget for creative loans that would help fuel the growth of the creative industry, many financial institutions have failed to notice and leverage on the dramatic shifts, especially by understanding how creative brands and individuals can compete and generate value. Consequently, even though the marketplace has grown increasingly competitive – and sometimes with more emphasis on product quantity than quality – consumer experience, including the unique style of storytelling in the industry, has opened a globaly-recognised market to those willing to invest.

Over the years, Access Bank has completely embraced stakeholders in the entertainment and art industry, providing the necessary products, services, resources and support for artistes, artists, and even innovators and designers who prefer to work behind the scene. The Bank has also successfully deepened its affiliation with contemporary and African arts, especially as a gold sponsor for the Art X Lagos event, an art festival celebrating African artists, while drawing in resident clienteles, curators and art critics through the Access Bank Art X Prize.

Since its inception, ART X Lagos has welcomed over 22,000 visitors to see the works of Africa’s leading established and emerging artists, including representatives of institutions such as the Tate Modern, Zeitz MOCAA, the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian, the Art Institute of Chicago and Centre Pompidou.

In November 2019, the event again takes centre stage with its fourth edition; another opportunity for winners to access capital and training through the Art X competition, which would, in turn, propel them to global success and appreciation for African arts and creativity. The Access Bank ART X Lagos art fair begins on the 1st of November, which would culminate in an excellent exhibition with more diverse and original works than have been previously shown in recent events all across the continent.

Prior to the CBN’s directives, Access Bank has always contributed to the growth and development of the country’s creative industry, sponsoring concerts and entertainment events all over the country. Similar to almost every other sector, Nigerians have come to expect limited support, and creatives have consistently grown their career through self-generated funds, which is many cases, can appear very risky, affect production quality and discourage young creatives from venturing in the creative sector.

With the intent to support the next set of young Nigerian music stars, Access Bank has also partnered with Star Lager Beer, to create the ‘Access the Stars’ reality show. The show offers young talented Nigerian musicians a platform to display their talents, and the winner a whooping prize of N150 million. Through the partnership, the Bank also promised contestants an opportunity to perform with top-tier artistes such as Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Flavour,  Phyno,  Olamide, Kcee, and many more.

As the mission grows in redeveloping the operations of National Arts Theatre through a N22 billion investment, Access Bank is again at the forefront of redefining arts in the country in order to sustain our society, our culture, and continually looking for new ways to build a better future. The bank’s history in delivering excellent services, relief and benefits to the general public through Corporate Social Responsibility remains unmatched and remarkable, thereby reflecting a wonderful story for the future: that Nigerian entertainment and arts will truly be leading industry for Nigeria’s economic diversification and growth.

According to the report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, while consumers in mature markets such as North America and Europe, among other wealthier Asia-Pacific markets, spend a lot more than $500 per capita annually on entertainment and media, Nigeria with a 12.1 per cent Compound Annual Growth (CAGR), is gradually becoming the world’s fastest-growing Entertainment & Media market, strongly influenced by surging spending on mobile Internet access.

As with most sectors across the economy, creatives in the industry have been limited by poor access to finance, which continues to pose an obstacle to sustained growth across the value chain. Globally, experts have always emphasized the importance of a public-private partnership in order to boost investment, including the need to improve platforms, programmes, infrastructures and of course, people who show promising artistic prospects by leveraging on various programs, initiatives and projects.

In 2016, the Nigerian creative industry accounted for 2.3 percent, approximately N239 billion of the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With more private investors forming a strong body of partners and stakeholders, many experts are already projecting at least $1 billion contribution to the country’s GDP by 2020. Interestingly, Access Bank is taking the initiative to become a key contributor in the movement to grow the Nigerian creative sector.

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