The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) says the movie industry is Nigeria’s new oil.

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According to NAN, Adedayo Thomas, NFVCB’s executive director, spoke during a courtesy visit to the national secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abuja on Friday.

He said Nollywood could attract investors and create jobs. Thomas said joblessness would have ravaged Nigeria if not for the growth the movie industry has recorded.

“The film industry in Nigeria is currently the largest employer of labour with its exponential growth,” he said.

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“In 2019, CinemaCon, the largest gathering of movie theater owners from around the world, celebrated Nigerian Cinema with an ‘Emerging Market Award. An award Nigeria still holds to date.

“Nigeria’s cinema was accorded the honour, following its three-year consecutive exponential growth.”

Thomas pointed out that the number of cinemas in Nigeria increased to 62, from 20 cinema houses in 2017.

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“The feat was achieved due to the commitment and determination of governments to economic diversification,” the NFVCB boss added.

“The film industry is the new oil that can attract investors, create jobs, and boost the nation’s GDP if adequate attention is given to it.

“The industry is no longer for entertainment alone, but it offered great opportunities in creating a lot of jobs for the youths.

“We always see new faces every day in the industry. Assuming this industry is not waxing stronger, joblessness would have pervaded everywhere.”

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Crude oil accounts for about half of the government’s income and about 90 percent of Nigeria’s forex earnings.

The concept of “new oil” is one that piques interest amid Nigeria’s search for alternative revenue sources.

While conversations have been had on the need for diversification, Nigeria has heavily relied on oil revenues so much so that fluctuations in global oil prices and demand bear consequences for the country’s economy.

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