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Terrorism: Impact on Nigerian Entertainment Industry

By on December 28, 2011

A few days ago I went with some friends to the Silverbird galleria in Abuja. It had been a hard day and people needed to release the tension and relax. My friend’s little sister suggested that we go to Silverbird galleria and after putting up some half  hearted resistance we all agreed to go. It was my first time being there since I am not based in Abuja. Although it was relatively late, there were many people hanging around and they were almost all spending lots of money. Little children playing games, teenagers going to watch movies, people shopping and so much more activity.  As I looked around me, the words of Louis Armstrong’s classic song came to my mind; “what a wonderful world”. Further reflection led me to consider that this environment was made possible because there was peace. There is a connection between peace/security and entertainment. It is also becoming obvious that there is a connection between entertainment and the economy. Thus the absence of peace will have a negative effect on our economy.

The Service sector contributes 38% to the GDP of Nigeria. According to an article in, the Nigerian entertainment industry generates over $2 billion annually. I am certain this is a large chunk of the money generated in the Service sector and it will only get bigger. This industry spans movie, film and music production, events management, comedy, modeling and so on. Over the last decade, this industry has grown in leaps and bounds. Its true that it might not yet be a major contributor to our GDP but I believe that if one looks at the multiplier effect, it is empowering a lot of people who otherwise might have been living in poverty.

Any artiste who has enough public acclaim can rake in millions of naira each month. I watched a documentary on the popular comedian known as Basketmouth and I was impressed to see that he is rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty in Lekki. His mansion was a sight to behold and his other assets were equally impressive. All this wealth was acquired from standing on stage and cracking jokes. Such financial success has been made possible by the amount of professionalism put into the management of people who entertain others. Other business interests like cinemas, night clubs, reality tv shows and so on are very lucrative and many corporate bodies are willing to spend fortunes because they know that they are reaching a very wide audience by identifying with entertainment. It is enough to note how many events are being organized during these holidays. I have even noticed that young people in some neighbourhoods organize their own neighbourhood festivals.

However, for this industry to continue to thrive there must be peace in the land. I am sure that anyone who is planning a major event will think twice before situating it in Jos not to talk of Bauchi. The insecurity that undesirable elements have managed to create in these places makes them very unattractive for hosting anything that will draw crowds of people together. Just imagine what would happen if, God forbid, there are continuous bomb explosions in some major centres of entertainment in Lagos and Abuja.

The kind of fear and tension that will be created can be imagined. And if we look at things strictly from the economic perspective, this entertainment sector we have been talking about will begin to die before it reaches its peak. There are already indicators that many internationally acclaimed artistes who were supposed to come to perform in Nigeria this year called off their events. Things will only get worse if the perceived insecurity in the country keeps increasing. We might even get to the point where our local artistes will prefer to do their shows outside the country and refuse to perform here. This is just one small area where terrorism will affect us, but I believe its an important area considering the constantly increasing number of people who directly or indirectly make a living from entertainment.