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13 unions in the Nigerian movie industry also known as Nollywood have signed a life insurance, healthcare and pension package . The life insurance package was facilitated by Leadway Assurance, while the pension deal was signed with Leadway Pensure PFA. An agreement for a healthcare scheme was also signed with Pinewood HMO.

Highlights of the deal

  • The agreement was signed with 13 affiliates of Nollywood and is tagged NollyHealth Insured
  • The 13 unions comprises of   Association of Motion Picture Entertainment Editors of Nigeria (AMPEEN); Creative Designers’ Guild of Nigeria (CDGN); Cinematographers’ Society of Nigeria (CSN); Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN); Film & Video Producers’ and Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN); and Independent Television Producers Association (ITPAN).
  • Other includee Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN); National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP); Screenwriters’ Guild of Nigeria (SWGN); Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Producers Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) and United Movie Practitioners’ Association of Nigeria (UMPAN).
  • The 13 members will benefit from unified general insurance, healthcare, pension coverage and other benefits.
  • Leadway Assurance will provide a life/general insurance policy for the unions, while Leadway Pensure PFA would cater for the pension funds of members. Pinewood will provide health insurance.

A scheme like this was long overdue

The insurance, health and pension package is one that is long overdue in the movie industry. Tales of actors soliciting for funds to take care of health issues or their welfare had become common place in the country. The nascent nature of the movie industry and poor copyright enforcement has meant that practitioners in the sector don’t earn as much as they should or have regular income.

The scheme however provides a high level of comfort for actors, directors and other crew members from occasional hazards that comes with the lifestyle while also giving them cover for their equipment. For this to work, members of the Union will have to pay their insurance premiums as and when due in exchange for the respective cover.

From the look of the deal, separate premiums may be paid for the Group life and non-life covers, and the health insurance. Members will also have to continue to contribute their respective retirement savings account to benefit from pensions when they eventually retire.

The deal may open other doors in the entertainment industry

If the scheme proves to be successful, Leadway could have a major revenue source as the movie industry in Nigeria is a growing one. Other Industries such as music and sports could decide to key in to the scheme. The relatively young age of the average Nollywood practitioner gives Leadway access to a long stream of income.

The deal could also pave way for other insurance companies who can easily replicate the model across other industries that are mostly dominated by sole entrepreneurs and startups, with the attraction being their ability to form a union or cooperative.

Risks involved

Partnerships like this are not new in the entertainment industry, but continuity is the issue. Once new heads of the guild are appointed, they prefer to pursue new programmes. Guilds are often factionalized, which could result in low participation in the scheme.

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In previous schemes, actors often skipped payments till they required medical care. The informal nature of jobs in the industry, means payment may not be deducted from source, thus reducing consistency.

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Leadway Assurance was established in 1970 and is one of Nigeria’s foremost insurance companies. The company had a gross premium of N8.7 billion in 2016 .  Leadway pensure PFA is owned by a consortium of three companies: Leadway Assurance, Prestige Assurance and MBC Securities.


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