The United Kingdom has pledged to collaborate with Nigerian film and TV industries as its commitment to support the growth and development of Nigeria’s a trade and investment sector.

The UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Helen Grant, gave this pledge at a two-day inaugural creative trade mission in Lagos spearheaded by the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT).

She said the overarching objective was for filmmakers from the UK and Nigeria to explore co-productions and expand their footprint in both countries.

30 Nigerian producers, directors, screenwriters and cinematographers joined Helen Grant, including Mo Abudu, Mildred Okwo, Michelle Bello, Kunle Afolayan, Rogers Ofime and Damola Ademola, the Nigerian filmmakers.

Actors including, Shawn Faqua, Eku Edewor and others had the opportunity to meet, network and share insights with their counterparts within the UK delegation. They included BAFTA-nominated producer, Victoria Thomas, Victoria McKenzie, Debo Oluwatuminu, Africa House London Limited and the British Film Institute. The mission engaged through a series of presentations, panel sessions and one-on-one meetings, allowing both countries to see some of the many opportunities available to them.

Speaking on the Trade Mission, Grant said: “Following the series of creative’s sector webinars that was led by DIT Nigeria in May 2021, it was evident that there was a clear interest from both the UK and Nigerian film and TV industry to explore potential collaborations.

“This trade mission is a direct response to the positive feedback we received, and we hope that some fruitful partnerships will be formed as a result. I hope both countries’ delegations will use the opportunity to increase their understanding of the business opportunities available to them, sign some co-production agreements and open the door for the UK to tap into the uniqueness of Nollywood, the second largest film industry in the world.”

She indicated that the UK government looks forward to hosting Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Niyi Adebayo’s delegation in London on April 26, 2022 for the Economic Development Forum. There, both the UK and Nigeria will discuss and address as many market access barriers as possible, in order to boost trade and investment through ministerial dialogue.

Grant also welcomed Nigeria’s strong engagement at COP26, and the President’s net-zero commitment, as well as Nigeria passing the landmark Climate Change Act into law shortly after COP26. She also set out areas where the UK Export Finance could support in driving economic growth forward, and separately highlighted how duty removed on solar home systems for domestic use would lead to a nine-fold increase in revenue.

Before the Trade Mission in Lagos, Helen Grant visited Abuja where she met with Adebayo; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari. Discussions throughout focused on exploring how to overcome specific obstacles to doing business in Nigeria, such as forex constraints and the fuel subsidy. Grant also discussed trade facilitation in and out of Nigerian ports and touched on specific deals within the on-grid energy renewables space, where more government engagement would be beneficial.