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SMW Lagos 2019: Day 3 Highlights

I was unsure of what to expect at the SMW Lagos even after reading through Samuel Achem’s highlights. However, attending the event on Wednesday at the Landmark event center I got a very clearer picture of why Achem would choose to “almost live there.” The atmosphere was simply charged, with very interactive discussions on multiple trending issues in the society. Participants ranged from industry stakeholder, leaders, guests and a host of many others.

So if you missed the event, here are some of the highlights for the third day.


Agriculture has been receiving major attention in Nigeria for sometimes now. The concern has grown from the need to diversify the economy to being food sufficient and even to the enormous revenue that farmers, investors and the government could earned from the sector. However, the sector faces the major challenge of investment capital.

The rural farmer, who constitute the largest direct actors in the agrobusiness, lack sufficient fund to increase output as well as suffer from inaccessibility to credit from financial institutions. Hence, it is access to finance that speaker, and participants described as a big crack that needs to be solved in agrobusiness.

According to Titi Odunfa Adeoye, Founder/CEO of Sankore Global Investment, a collaborative effort is the answer. Adeoye explains that everyone can be a part of the solution by thinking about how to invest in agriculture instead of being preoccupied with incessant consumption spending.

The urgency to provide credit to farmers prompted series of concerns: how to engage social investors, a solution to reduce the cost of financing farmers, the security of investment in the rural areas where data for credit rating is almost inexistent, the digitalization of farmers etc.

The proactive efforts of AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited in bridging this financial gap was well acknowledged by the panelist and Akinyinka Akintunde, the Business Development Manager of AFEX explained how the Investment house has taken the risk in providing investible capital to help farmers.

In sum, the need to provide loan to farmers, especially rural farmers is described not only as a government or bank led solution but the collaborative effort of the private sector too. The later can begin to build data, the process of the digitalization that will help rural farmers get favorable credit rating for them to access credit.

The New Music Economy: A Collaborative Team Approach

The Beat 99 FM hosted the music conference at the SMW Lagos 2019 of several sessions with awesome speakers participating at the fully seated Innovation Stage of the Center. I had come down for this session when I bumped into the concluding moments of one of their sessions featuring M.I. Abaga (well, he is the only one I know) and a host other speaker. I stayed as speaker and the attendees talked about how to help artist, especially new artist in the new industry.

On legal matters, Godwin Tom, CEO iManager Africa encouraged artist that if possible to get a lawyer even before they get a manager. One of the attendees, a lawyer stated that there are lawyers who are ready to offer their services to artists for free pending when they can afford to pay for it in other to secure their intellectual property. Follow the group on Facebook, Nigeria Entertainment Lawyers  

Anchored by Osikhena Dirisu, “The New Music Economy” discussed how artistes could keep making money from their art/intellectual property as long as they are in use, even when the artists are no longer active. The artist/performer, songwriter, and others involved in producing an intellectual property are supposed to earn from their art. However, this has not been the case in Nigeria as avenues for this has been underutilized.

The General Manager, Kwese Free TV, Chichi Nwoko urged artists to take into serious consideration the business aspect of their art and not be carried away with the glamour pointing that it is business. Hence, they should seek legal counsel. Also, encouraged artists that when at the peak of their to take advantage of every opportunities to make money like Phyno’s Alobam shirts, D’Banj’s Koko garri etc. Artsits are influencers and they can monetize their influence, even using their social media handles.

In addition, Baba Akintunde-Johnson, Country Director Viacom International Africa highlights the major ways in which artists can earn from their works. They include downloads, royalties, endorsements, premium on/payment for performances, touring, among others. However, he lamented that there is no structure in Nigeria to help artist earn from all these avenues when they are at their peak. For example, royalty is the major way artists safeguard their future but this is not regulated in Nigeria. Therefore, when artist “blow” or get to their peak, they begin to save so much to secure their future and these savings become their pensions since there is no guarantee of future income from their arts as they continue to be used.

Though streaming and downloading is the biggest digital shift in artist earning, yet mainly Nigerian abroad and few others with the disposable who vibe to music from Nigerian artists engage in this. Across different states, Nigeria still lacks the structure for touring. Events centers with large capacity to host big artist in different states are not available, and some available ones lack required security apparatus to manage activities.

Coming to the rescue of artists, WAPIC Insurance PLC represented by Solomon Biodun understand that artists suffer from financial planning. He explained that unlike the bank where with an ATM deposits are easily withdrawn and does not encourage savings, WAPIC helps artists save and secure their monies in the long term. Mr Biodun pointed out that there is no cover underwriters like WAPIC do not provide from jewelries, cars, and even intellectual property. WAPIC Insurance PLC can be followed on all social media with their handle: @mywapic.

Akintunde-Johnson pointed out that in Nigeria opportunity for artist earnings are big and could get bigger even in the long term but government regulations is necessary if artist can earn from their works in the future. Also, considering how much progress has been made with little or no government support, the government can earn enormous revenue from the entertainment sector if they would give it the proper attention required.

Featured image source: Ugo Ekemezie

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Ugo Ekemezie

Ugo loves learning. He aspires to help others get better. And enjoys having fun!



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