According to the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) over N6billion has been lost by the country’s cinema industry as a result of the lockdown caused by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Patrick Lee, the Chairman of the Association, disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that since the lockdown in March, the industry kept losing N1billion on a monthly basis rendering most of the staff jobless.
“We are appealing to the state and Federal Government to work together and allow us to open our businesses, we have lost over N1billion every month that we have been locked down and it is over N6billion now in six months.
“Most of our staff are currently unemployed and there are also over 20,000 people that depend on the industry in terms of supplies to the industry and those who work with Nollywood and artisans.
“We are at the point of bankruptcy, we want the government to help us to reopen because we have been locked down for six months now and it is really disheartening,” he explained.
Lee, therefore, called for more investment into the industry for a more robust industry.
“With 58 cinemas and 200 screens across the nation, 800 screens in South Africa, 4,000 screens in the United Kingdom, 10,000 screens in India and China, Nigeria needs lots of investment in the cinema industry.
“We do not have enough screens to exhibit the content that we are creating in this country and we want more investment, help from the government to put investments in place and have a very vibrant industry,” he said.