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The Chairman of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, REDAN, Omoluabi Victor Eniola-Mark, has listed weakness laws, government censorship and low business acumen as leading factors militating against the success of entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
The REDAN boss said this while delivering a lecture at a symposium tagged Conflence 1.0 in Abeokuta , Ogun State Capital on Thursday.
While explaining his stand, the REDAN Boss stated that many investors especially in the movie industry have nearly lost their lives when they lose huge amount of money invested in their businesses citing Popular ‘Olaiya Igwe’ scenario as a case study.
He added that this instances and many unquoted cases leaves bitter tales for creatives (loss of intellectual property) and entrepreneurs (loss of money) to tell.
Quoting factors fighting against the success of entrepreneurship in the country, Mark noted that, “ Weak Laws and Institutions;
It is intellectual dishonesty and gross generalization to say there are no regulations for the protection of intellectual rights, quality control or financial aid to innovative Nigerians who want to create content or products in the creative industries.
“One should however take a critical look at the functionality of these institutions and the enforcement of these laws. The substantial failure of institutions makes life hard for people in the creative industries. The Copyright Law is existent and covers almost every necessary aspect, but is not adequately enforced.
“An instance of weak institutions comes into play when you look at how it took about forty years for the legal dispute between Sunny Ade and Chief Bolarinwa Abioro over record contracts to be partly resolved. The legal disputes over master tapes kicked off in 1974, the court ruled in favour of Sunny Ade in 1975, yet his master tapes were not released to him. In 1997, Sunny Ade instructed his lawyers to institute another legal action against African Songs Limited, Take Your Choice Record Stores Limited, Lati Alagbada Records, Records Manufacturers of Nigeria Limited, Ibukunola Printers Limited, Alhaja AwawuAde Amodu and M.O Alagbada. The case lingered up until 2019 and one is uncertain of its absolute resolution”.
“Low business acumen; Some players in the creative industries have failed to pay utmost attention to the business aspect of their arts. This misnomer is common in sports, music and broadcast media. The inability of players in the creative industry to make money out their innovations and talent leaves a gory sight to see, exposes them to exploitation and causes some to leave below a proper standard of living.
“Low business acumen is also responsible for people signing contracts that put them into modern day slave trade, thereby making them vulnerable and open for exploitation, which leads to confrontations and legal tussle later.
“Government censorship; In as much as every sector must be regulated, too much exertive and assertive influence of censorship stifles such field. The creative industries are currently passing through tough times with the current attempt by some government officials to invade the sector with some ill-intentioned policies.
“It is sad to see how broadcast stations are held by a tight noose and operate daily with the fear of a ridiculously expensive fine from their regulators. Some government officials at this time want online radio, online televisions and digital content creators that include comedy skit makers and Instagram celebrities to be licensed by the National Broadcasting Commision.
While dropping the curtain of his lecture, the REDAN boss however advised government to continue to create the enabling environment for businesses to blossom noting that only through that would talents be turned into trillions of naira.
“Nigeria is blessed with thousands of talented youths and adults who are endowed with the creativity to make a good living out of their God-given talents. These people have worked against all odds to bring entrepreneurship and the creative industries to its current state in Nigeria.
“The creative industries in Nigeria stand in a good place and hold a huge potential of becoming a real creative economy that can generate trillions of naira annually if fully harnessed and allowed to boom”.