The Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) has announced the commencement, and coming into effect the Nigeria – South Africa Audio-Visual Cooperation Agreement, signed last December, in Abuja. The Audio-Visual Cooperation Agreement is part of the 10th Session of Nigeria – South Africa Bi-National Commission overall agreements jointly endorsed by Presidents Mohammadu Buhari (GCFR) and Metamora Ramaphosa when the later visited Nigeria recently.
The Audio-visual cooperation agreement is to enhance a rapid cross border and investment inflow into the nation’s film industry. It will enable Nigeria and South Africa cooperate, promote and develop the art and business of film and cinema through structured collaboration and partnerships between its filmmakers and audio-visual production companies.
The NFC, which is the authority responsible for implementing the provisions of the agreement on behalf of Nigeria, says it will also soon commence engagements with film and other stakeholders across the country, including those in the hospitality, insurance, tourism and airline businesses, with a view to ensuring that all opportunities contained in the agreement that will positively impact on the nation’s creative economy are tapped into.
In line with the provisions of the agreement, the NFC will also make public soon a streamlined procedure, requirements and processes of accessing the provisions of the cooperation agreement, some of which include mode of application and filling processes, documents to submit by applicants and record time for the processing of received application.
According to the NFC, a clearance letter/certificate will be issued to any successful Nigerian applicant, who will be required to tender same by way of certified true copy to the competent authority of South Africa (South Africa – National Film & Video Foundation) through his or her South African Co-Producer and vice-versa, conveying approval for the audiovisual co-production. It is also expected that the entity desiring to enter into an audio-visual co-production with a South African partner, must in addition to other requirements, be registered with relevant Nigerian agencies. Applications must also contain information on financial capabilities, technical and creative contributions, proposed location for the audio-visual shooting, and list of its crew members and their nationalities, among others.
Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, NFC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, says that the coming into effect of the Co-producton Agreement provides another robust opportunity for the development of Nigeria’s creative economy. Critical and support structures of the film industry are expected to increase, thereby providing creative employment and wealth opportunities according to Dr. Maduekwe. He further said that the Nigerian – South African Audio-visual Cooperation, the second, after that between Nigeria and France signed in 2020, demonstrates the commitment and determination of NFC to engage in expanding the exportation of Nigeria’s motion picture ingenuity within and beyond the shores of Africa.
Maduekwe assured that several other Co-production Agreements are expected to come into effect, shortly after receiving the procedural attention they require. He commended the Federal Ministries of Information, Justice and Foreign Affairs for the exceptional and expedited considerations including actions taken in respect of the actualization of the Nigeria-South Africa Audio-Visual Cooperation Agreement and others in waiting.
All Audio-visual Co-production projects, undertaken in compliance with the Cooperation Agreement and guidelines emplaced by the competent authorities of both countries, according to the statement issued by Brian Etuk, NFC’s spokesman, shall receive recognition, acknowledgment or title of parties’ signatories to the Agreement and other essential support.