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Data Shows Nigerians Spent N6.94bn at Cinema in 2022 Despite Economic Hardship



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Even though reports have revealed that most Nigerians battle one form of economic hardship or the other, the new data has shown that the sum of N6.94bn was spent on movies in 2022.
The data, issued by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), noted that Nigerians paid a huge amount to gain entry into the cinema to see movies of their choice.
This development is coming at a time when the majority believe that Nigerian citizens might have been losing the appetite for visiting cinemas to see movies.
The majority of the populace is fast embracing Multichoice decoders for DSTV and GoTV, thus dwindling the rate at which people patronise Cinema.
But, the data showed that Nigerians expended a record-breaking N6.94bn on movies last year, which is over N2.2bn higher than the N4.7bn realised in 2021.
The amount, nonetheless, represented a 31.7% YoY increase in revenue from 2021, the growth was less than the 55.7% increase recorded in 2021, when compared to the figure of N2.1 billion in gross earnings from 2020.
What was generated in 2020 has been, however, linked to the lockdown occasioned by the global COVID-19 pandemic. During this period whereby Nigerians, with the exemption of those on essential duties, many Nigerians stayed indoors and embraced other means of passing time and catching fun.
With the latest data, Nigerians seemed to have renewed their penchant for visiting cinema judging by the huge amount of money recorded last year.
Similarly, the most-grossed Nollywood movie in 2022 was ‘Brotherhood’ directed by Jade Osiberu. The movie fetched over N328 million in revenue and is closely followed by ‘King of Thieves’, which generated N321 million.
Also, Hollywood’s Black Panther 2 – Wakanda Forever’ was the highest-grossing Hollywood movie with N926M in revenue, followed by the Woman King with N472M in gross revenue. According to the data, Wakanda Forever is on track to becoming the first N1 billion movie.
The Box Office statistics revealed that, with admissions being unchanged from the previous year, the biggest contributor to the increase in revenues was the rise in average ticket prices. Accordingly, Nigerians paid more in 2022 than they did the year before.
Though, the data noted that cinema admissions in 2021 were a bit lower than those in 2022 as cinemas recorded 3,188,732 annual admissions in 2022 compared to 3,239,336 annual admissions in 2021.
Following these achievements in the movie industry, Africa recorded a significant stride as their counterpart, Hollywood, directed their focus on producing African content and engagement. Movies like Black Panther 2 and The Woman King, were a demonstration of that effort.
Even though Nigerians are facing economic dire straits as prices of food items and other utilities including cinema tickets, skyrocket on daily basis, Investors King observes that the urge for unwinding after a day’s work, especially on weekends, has not rescinded.

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Computer Village Traders Demand Refunds as Lagos State Cancels Katangowa Project



Traders at the renowned Computer Village in Lagos find themselves in a state of uncertainty following the abrupt termination of the multibillion-naira Katangowa project by the Lagos State Government.

The project, which was aimed at relocating the bustling tech market from its current site in Ikeja to the Agbado/Oke-Odo area of the state, has left traders in a state of limbo.

Despite the cancellation of the project reportedly occurring two years ago, traders claim they were not informed by either the government or the developers, Bridgeways Limited.

This lack of communication has left them in a precarious position, particularly concerning the substantial upfront payments made by some traders to the developers.

Chairman of the Computer Village Market Board, Chief Adebowale Soyebo, expressed dismay at the lack of communication from the authorities regarding the project’s termination.

He explained that neither the government nor the contractors had officially informed them of the decision, leaving traders in the dark about the fate of their investments.

Traders who had made payments to Bridgeways Limited now seek clarity on the refund process. The absence of official communication has compounded their concerns, with many uncertain about the fate of their investments.

While acknowledging the payments made by traders, Lagos State Governor’s Adviser on e-GIS and Urban Development, Dr. Olajide Babatunde, assured that the government would facilitate refunds.

He, however, said there is a need for proper identification and verification to ensure that affected traders receive their refunds accordingly.

The termination of the Katangowa project has reignited debates about the relocation of Computer Village.

Traders assert that the issue of relocation should not be raised until the new site is at least 70% completed, as per their agreement with the government.

The cancellation of the Katangowa project underscores the challenges associated with large-scale urban development projects and the importance of transparent communication between stakeholders to avoid such situations in the future.

As traders await further directives from the government, they remain hopeful for a resolution that safeguards their interests and ensures the continuity of one of Nigeria’s most prominent tech markets.

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Government Begins Disbursement of N200bn Support Fund to Manufacturers and Businesses



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The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has initiated the disbursement of the long-awaited N200 billion Presidential Conditional Grant Scheme.

This is the beginning of a vital phase in the government’s strategy to provide financial assistance to manufacturers and businesses across Nigeria.

The scheme, which is being administered through the Bank of Industry (BOI), has been divided into three categories of funding, totaling N200 billion.

The disbursement process comes after an exhaustive selection process and verification of applicants to ensure transparency and accountability in the allocation of funds.

Doris Aniete, spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, announced the progress in a statement posted on the trade minister’s official X (formerly Twitter) handle.

Aniete highlighted that verified beneficiaries have already started receiving their grants, signaling the beginning of the phased disbursement strategy.

“We are pleased to inform you that the disbursement process for the Presidential Conditional Grant Programme has officially commenced. Some beneficiaries have already received their grants, marking the beginning of our phased disbursement strategy,” stated Aniete.

She further disclosed that by Friday, April 19, a substantial number of verified applicants are set to receive significant disbursements.

However, Aniete emphasized that disbursements are ongoing, and not all applicants will receive their grants immediately, assuring that all verified applicants will eventually receive their grants in subsequent phases.

The initiation of the disbursement process comes after more than eight months since President Bola Tinubu announced the grant for manufacturers and small businesses.

The scheme aims to mitigate the adverse effects of recent economic reforms and foster sustainable economic growth by empowering businesses with financial support.

President Tinubu had outlined the government’s commitment to strengthening the manufacturing sector and creating job opportunities through the disbursement of N200 billion over a specified period.

The funding is intended to provide credit to 75 enterprises, each able to access up to N1 billion at a low-interest rate of 9% per annum.

However, the implementation of the programme has faced challenges, including delays and criticisms regarding the registration process.

Femi Egbesola, President of the Association of Small Business Owners, expressed concerns over the slow pace of data collation and suggested that genuine businesses were being discouraged from accessing the loans.

Despite the hurdles, the commencement of the disbursement process signifies a significant step forward in the government’s efforts to provide vital support to manufacturers and businesses, potentially revitalizing economic activities and driving growth across various sectors.

As beneficiaries begin to receive their grants, the impact of this initiative on the nation’s economic landscape is eagerly anticipated.

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Company News

MicroStrategy Rally Crushes Short Sellers, Wiping Out $1.92 Billion



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Short sellers betting against MicroStrategy found themselves facing significant losses as the company’s rally wiped out $1.92 billion since March.

This development comes amidst a rally that has seen MicroStrategy’s stock outperform bitcoin, causing a considerable hit to those who had taken a bearish stance on the tech firm.

According to data from S3 Partners, short sellers have been on the losing end since March, as MicroStrategy’s stock surged, highlighting the impact of the rally on those betting against the company’s success.

This loss underscores the challenges faced by short sellers in a market where certain stocks experience rapid and unexpected price increases.

The rally in MicroStrategy’s stock is attributed to several factors, including the approval of several spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier in the year.

This move by the SEC brought bitcoin, a once-nascent asset class, closer to the mainstream and fueled investor interest in companies like MicroStrategy, known for their significant holdings of the cryptocurrency.

MicroStrategy, which held nearly 190,000 bitcoin on its balance sheet as of the end of 2023, has indicated its intention to continue increasing its exposure to the digital currency.

The company’s decision to sell convertible debt to raise money for additional bitcoin purchases further bolstered investor confidence and contributed to the stock’s rally.

Analysts at BTIG noted that the premium for MicroStrategy’s stock reflects investors’ desire to gain exposure to bitcoin indirectly, especially those who may not have the means to invest directly in the cryptocurrency or ETFs.

The company’s ability to raise capital for bitcoin purchases is seen as a positive sign for shareholders, adding to the optimism surrounding its stock.

However, despite the recent rally and optimism surrounding MicroStrategy, the crypto industry as a whole continues to be heavily shorted.

Short interest in nine of the most-watched companies in the crypto space remains high, standing at 16.73% of the total number of outstanding shares, more than three times the average in the United States.

Moreover, concerns persist regarding the SEC’s stance on cryptocurrencies, with some experts suggesting that the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs may not necessarily indicate a broader acceptance of other similar products, such as spot ethereum ETFs.

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