Some movie marketers, under the aegis of Yoruba Video Films Producers and Marketers, YVFPMA, Association of Nigeria, have banded to protest the flagrant piracy of movies in the popular Idumota Market, Lagos. To enforce this, the marketers have stopped the further release of home videos of Yoruba genre into the market with effect from Monday, July 1.
This is after a petition had been written by the marketers to the National Assembly lamenting the financially crippling activities of piracy and requesting that the legislators passed decisive laws to curb the menace. According to information gathered from the General Secretary of YVFPMA, Mr. Tunji Ojetola, the petition was given a hearing on the floor of NASS on Monday.
However, the marketers are resolved not to resume film release until their grievances have been suitably treated. “It is really serious and we have been complaining for long but it seems nothing was being done so we decided to stop the release of films for now. Presently, meetings are ongoing with relevant agencies of government about the crisis and we hope to find a solution soon”, said Ojetola.
Nestled in the heart of Lagos Island’s bustling commercial district, the market’s film trading section is one of the two business hubs on which Nollywood –the film industry in Nigeria, is currently totally dependent. The other is Alaba International Market located in Ojo area of Lagos Mainland, which is viewed as the source of the movie piracy dilemma.
“We know the pirates; and the accusatory finger is pointing back to Alaba International Market”, the Sec. Gen stated.
Assessing their loss in numbers, Ojetola explained that between 20 to 25 Yoruba movies are released fortnightly in both markets and because of the activities of pirates, the film producers and marketers lose between N60m to N65m every month; annually, that would be N720m to N780m untaxed income going into the pockets of pirates. These are conceivable figures considering that globally, Nollywood is ranked as second film making industry in the world; Nollywood makes about 2,400 films per year, putting it ahead of the US, but behind India, according to an updated UNESCO report in 2012.
Also in 2012, research data produced by Euromonitor International in its forecast of nine major global travel trends for the next four years (till 2016), places Nollywood fourth on the list for being ‘a film hotspot’ and holding the power to increase tourist arrivals in the country from 2 percent in 2012 to nearly 3.5 percent in 2015.