PAT UTOMI, EMEKA MBA, 2FACE IDIBIA, TONY OKOROJI, OMOTOLA JALADE EKEINDE, LAGBAJA, OTHERS SPEAK AT NEC 2014.
As Thousands Gather For 2nd Edition Nigerian Entertainment Conference.
The second edition of the much talked about Nigerian Entertainment
Conference was one of the most successful conferences to hold this
The event took place on Wednesday, April 26, 2014 at the Grand
Ballroom of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, with a large
number of top personalities, celebrities, media moguls and
entrepreneurs, managers, artistes as well as a huge number of
entertainment industry participants in attendance, to discuss one
common goal – how to move the entertainment industry forward.
Hosted by comedian and TV show host Tee A, the conference featured six
different sessions – Media, Business, Music, IT (Info Technology),
Social Responsibility and Nollywood. Four of the six sessions were
preceded by keynote speeches delivered by Prof Pat Utomi (Business),
2face Idibia (Music), Social Responsibility (Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde)
and Nollywood (Emeka Mba).
Accompanied by different moderators, each session included a
discussion, which featured a group of panellists discussing different
topics closely associated with Entertainment in Nigeria.
Panellists included comedian Basketmouth, Storm 360 Chairman, Obi
Asika, Jobberman co-founder Ope Awoyemi, pop artiste, Dr SID, renowned
writer Toni Kan, Chairman of COSON Tony Okoroji, Storm 360 co-founder
and E.D, Olisa Adibua, actor Ramsey Nouah and founder of theAfrican
Movie Academy Awards Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, among many others.
Over 1200 people registered on the website, www.nec.ng, compared to
last year’s 321 registrants, and over a thousand people attended the
‘This conference is great. It makes you feel more concerned. Talking
is a good thing, and I’m happy we are talking. Positive things come
out of the talking and this is an avenue for that and more’, said the
CEO of Nigezie, Femi ‘Kwame’ Aderibigbe, a panellist in the media
The conference, popularly known as NECLive kicked off with a welcome
speech by Editor-In-Chief of NET Newspaper, the Chairman and Executive
Producer of the conference Ayeni Adekunle. In his speech, Ayeni talked
about the entertainment industry’s many shortcomings, despite the
perception of its’ progress.
‘Today should be indeed a happy day. But it’s not. I feel pain because
I know that there’s so much work to be done. And we’re not even
scratching the surface’, he said in his opening remarks.
‘How can we get the best from the system if the industry is not well
structured and funded?’ he asked.
NECLive 2014 highlighted a number of problems plaguing the
entertainment industry, including Distribution, Piracy, Content
Ownership, Collective Rights and Royalty, Absence of Infrastructure
and Social Responsibility.
The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Creating Pathways to the
Future’ and as explained by NET Editorial board Chairman Chris
Ihidero, ‘The future is changing rapidly, such that whatever we know
at present pales into insignificance at an alarming rate’.
‘All over the world, rapid manifestations are occurring in the
production and distribution of entertainment while we are still
largely playing catch up with out-dated platforms. If we were behind
by a few decades before, we may be moving behind by perhaps half a
century if we do not properly chart pathways to the future of the
Nigerian entertainment industry’, Ihidero explained.
Prof Pat Utomi who delivered his speech on ‘Solving the Distribution
Problem Once and For All’ stressed the importance of those involved in
providing entertainment on radio, television, film and theatre to
treat their work as importantly as any other business in order for it
‘Show business has to be treated like business. And because you love
it, you need to learn how to apply things that people have learned
from enterprise’, Utomi explained. The Professor also shared solutions
to the issue of poor distribution.
‘Our idea was to set up an alternative distribution structure that
will better serve the interest of both content owners and consumers so
we set up Exodus Entertainment with the sole aim of effectively
distributing Nigeria entertainment products (CD, DVD and Magazine) to
all of Nigeria’, he said.
Meanwhile, African Pop Icon, 2face Idibia who was also one of the
speakers, delivered a speech on ‘Slaying the Collective Rights
Monster’ stating that one of the major problems is an issue of
ignorance or rather, a lack of understanding of the subject. ‘Artists
and music executives/ administrators have to take time out to learn
about the ins and outs of the subject so as to understand what they
are getting into.’
He also said there should be only one CMO (collective management
organization) for a developing nation like Nigeria. ‘How has having
multiple CMOs impacted the subject of royalties and the owners of the
rights in Nigeria? One thing is for sure, having more than one CMO
operating within the industry has not helped further our cause as
rights owners because, being a developing nation, everyone is busy
looking out for their own interests’.
In her speech ushering in the ‘Social Responsibility’ session, Omotola
Jalade-Ekeinde, who spoke on ‘Why We Should Care’ raised two major
points in her presentation – education and leadership.
The Nollywood actress said that although success is not compulsorily
tied to education, it is advisable to be educated.
‘There are many layers to being famous or being a celebrity and
Education prepares us for these layers so we can reach our full
potential and be trusted with more responsibilities. Social
responsibility as you can guess is a lot of responsibility and
expression. You might as some point be required to speak to different
types of group of people as I am doing right now … Simply put,
Talent will Never be Enough.
The TIME 100 Icon also pleaded with her colleagues to use their
influence the right way. ‘We have been sleeping giants for too long.
Let’s wake up and lead by example Entertainers! In a continent with
some of the strongest, most recognizable and loved entertainers, we
can change things’.
The fourth speaker and final speaker of the day Emeka Mba delivered
his speech ‘Building a Sustainable Film Industry.’ Mba, the current
Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) said it
was important to recognize that the old order in Nollywood is
‘Those who choose to maintain the status quo will find themselves on
the wrong side of history and I dare say on the short end of the money
stick’, Mba said.
He also advised practitioners to be curious rather than critical. ‘Ask
questions that provoke reflection and further inquiry. Do not create a
fortress mentality. Ideas don’t work unless you speak up.’
Just like the inaugural edition, the conference ended with the NET
Honours. Honorary awards were given to 18 individuals including
musicians Ebenezer Obey, Onyeka Onwenu, Christy Essien-Igbokwe, Sunny
Okosun, Daddy Showkey, OJB Jezreel, actors Jide Kosoko, Adebayo
Salami, media businessmen Smooth Promotions CEO Ayo Animashaun, Cool
FM founder Amin Mosaalli, Tajuddeen Adepetu and others.
Other notable faces at the conference include Makin Soyinka, Yomi
Badejo Okusanya, Efe Omorogbe, Akin Oyebode, Dayo Adeneye, Sean
Tizzle, Toke Makinwa, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, DammyKrane, Oscar and
Titi Oyinsan, Lara George, Steve Babaeko, Tosyn Bucknor, Bayo Omisore,
Yaw, Lamide Akintobi among others.