Ogidi Studios to Put Nigeria on Global Map

Published on 23rd March 2021

On the 14th of March 2021, Burnaboy and Wizkid took the entertainment industry by storm winning the Grammy Awards and established themselves as amongst the best musicians in the world.  Burnaboy won in the “Best category for the “Twice As Tall” Album and Wizkid, the real ‘starboy’ in the Best Music Video category for the song ‘Brown Skin Girl’.

But the real story is that both guys are homegrown, they started here, “blew” here, and the world heard them, bought their music, and last week, gave them the highest awards in their industry.

An exciting story, but there is a problem; every commercially successful enterprise or individual whether in manufacturing or agriculture or entertainment creates a value chain. That is a chain of people and institutions who make money as they render services in support of the talents or ideas of the successful business, product, brand, or person. That is how economic opportunity and development are created. So, for example, cocoa farmers create a value chain; in that chain, you have the processing plants, the chocolate manufacturers, and the stores and supermarkets that sell chocolate products. These are all in that value chain, and all of them make money from the work of the farmer. The trick is that the more of that value chain that is local, the more jobs are created, and the bigger the Nation’s economy.

In the last few years, the entertainment industry in Nigeria has literarily exploded and is potentially a billion-dollar industry and we have many outstanding internationally recognized stars, but for the most part, most of them, their lucrative services in the value chain they have created, are performed abroad. Recording, making promotional videos, etc., are done in foreign studios, so that jobs and economic opportunities in the value chain created by our stars are appropriated by businesses in other countries.

I have gone through this long story to demonstrate the importance of the launch of the Ogidi Studios for the entertainment industry in Nigeria and the world and for the Nigerian economy in particular.  The Ogidi Studios were told is a world-class creative complex, hosting, recording, film production, animation, and writing studios. As the owners, the Temple Company, point out, “this is a full-scale production studio serving the entire value chain in the entertainment and creative industry.”

But perhaps more importantly, with the Ogidi Studios, Nigeria now operates on the same level of sound and video technology as the major global players. Now the stars, not just Nigerian stars, but from all over the world, have a place in Lagos that is as good as any studio they have ever recorded in.

World-class script writing, music recording, video making, and editing can take place under one roof, at the Ogidi Studios. The entire value chain in music and entertainment can now be local.  So we are at the cusp of a revolution in entertainment production, creative talent and services, and a major economic opening for business in Nigeria. The world knows it and the smart money is already going after the trail. Last year, Netflix, opened its first African office here in Lagos and is investing millions of dollars to buy and generate authentic African content on its platform.

A couple of years earlier, the Universal Music Group established itself firmly here and there are many others waiting to make their bid for a piece of the action.  The Federal Government also recognizing the strategic importance of the sector for the growth of the Nigerian economy has introduced several initiatives to support the sector.

Last year, the Federal Government handed over the control of the National Theatre to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers’ Committee. The Bankers’ Committee has committed to an investment of N25billion as initial funding for the development of the Nigeria Creative Centre to be located at the National Theatre.

These funds will receive support from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Creative Industry Funds Initiative’ an initiative that gives financial support to the technology and creative sector at single-digit interest rates. The Bank of Industry in collaboration with the National Council for Arts and Culture also has a N300m loan package for the creative sector. The package provides the funds to the sector at single-digit interest rates with a tenor of four to five years.

The Temple Company, owners of the studios, bring a great deal of credibility to this enterprise. The Chair, Mr. Tunde Folawiyo, is a highly reputable businessman with successful investments in oil and gas production, power, and communications. The CEO, is my dear aburo, Idris Olorunimbe, a young, dynamic entrepreneur and man of ideas with solid experience in government and a brilliant track record in talent and events management. So, I am sure the quality of these investors will catalyze even more investment in this sector.

This is really the private sector putting its best foot forward in the entertainment industry, the future is certainly looking very bright for the industry, and we are all looking forward to exciting days weeks, months, and years ahead.

By HE Prof Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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