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Nigerian cinemas count loses in Q1 2020, amid COVID-19 lockdown

The Nigerian cinema industry has experienced a gradual dip in revenue since the onset of the Coronavirus in January 2020.

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Filmhouse, Silverbird, others generate over N79.8 million on Valentine’s weekend, Cinemas count their loses in Q1 2020, amid COVID-19 lockdown

The Nigerian cinema industry has  recently been experiencing a serious decline in revenue, no thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic which has wrought health and economic havoc across the world.

Information released by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), revealed that cinemas across the country have been losing as much as 30% of their weekend revenues since January.

The breakdown

Between 17 and 19  of January 2020, Nigerian  cinemas grossed N75.9 million. However, the figure dropped by 20.8% to N60.1 million by the first weekend of February. Fast-forward to the beginning of March, it dwindled further to N54.9 million. As of the second weekend in March, the figure stood at N45,283,647.

[READ MORE: Coronavirus forcing UK cinemas to shut down , as Nigerian counterparts record revenue loss]

In all, the industry’s revenue dropped by as much as 30.65% between January and March 2020. By the third week of March, the Coronavirus pandemic had already taken its toll on the industry to the extent  of almost bringing it to its knees.

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Each of the cinema distributors has been affected in varying degrees, even as movies that were premiered during this period did not enjoy as much patronage due to the virus scare.

Take for instance, The Legend of Inikpi which was premiered on Silverbird Cinemas on 24 January 2020, raked in only N7.4 million in its first weekend.By February, it had dropped to a weekend average of N973, 850, with barely 801 viewers across the country.

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This figure declined sharply in subsequent weekends, with only 269 viewers between 6 to 8 of March, and only 126 viewers by the next weekend.

The highly anticipated film Living in Bondage: Breaking Free was premiered by FilmOne in November 2019. The film maintained enviable figures weeks after following its debut, Something that cannot be said for films that were released January.

Following its first seven days in the box office, Living in Bondage: Breaking Free had grossed N48.6 million, according to data from CEAN. The film grossed an additional N36.7 million in its second week to remain number 1 at the Nigerian Box Office. In its third week, the film made 24.7 million, dropping to number 2, whilst having the highest weekend admissions. After three weeks, it had grossed over N100 million.

But Living in Bondage: Breaking Free was not spared from the Coronavirus effect, as its viewership took a sharp turn in January 2020. The movie had its lowest viewing between 17 – 19 January, bringing in a paltry N254,100 across the country, which is the lowest figure ever recorded since its screening.

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Sugar Rush, another well-anticipated movie from FilmOne, broke the records when it grossed N40 million in the opening weekend. However, the fortunes of this movie also turned around worst in January when it started declining, falling from N18 million between 17 – 19 January, to N2.3 million in March 2020.

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[READ ALSO: Nigerians spend N3.73 billion in Cinemas in 2019)

The partial lockdown that was declared in some parts of the country, including the ever-busy Lagos State, makes for an even more uncertain performance in the second quarter of 2020.

Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

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Business News

Geely Auto to invest 54 million dollars in the development of healthy cars

Geely’s leading track record will be taken to a new level with the development of an all-round “healthier car.”

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As Exclusive Partner of Geely Automotive in Nigeria, Mikano brings us great news of Geely Automotive innovative steps towards development of “healthy, intelligent vehicles” by earmarking 54 million Dollars of funding to it; as a furthering of the fight against Coronavirus.

The move not only adds a new dimension to Geely’s understanding of “passenger safety,” it also represents a new development direction for automobiles.

The development of a “healthier car” differs from specialized medical vehicles in that Geely’s products are made for ordinary consumers. Cars with comprehensive virus protection not only require the capability to isolate harmful substances in the air, it also needs to quickly and effectively purify cabin air for occupants.

Geely Auto’s global R&D and design networks based in Europe, USA and China will jointly move to develop and research new environmentally sustainable materials with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which can be used within air-conditioner systems and on frequently touched surfaces such as buttons and handles.

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Geely Auto will make full use of its global R&D system and resources as well as cooperate with professional medical and scientific research institutions to set up special project teams to work on the new research.

An Conghui, President of Geely Holding Group and President and CEO of Geely Auto Group said “Epidemic prevention is a job that requires the long-term effort of wider society. As the most common mode of transportation, consumers spend a considerable amount time in their cars, akin to a “second home” Only by making healthier products can we meet consumer demand for better quality of life. Based on the automotive industry’s development direction built around electrified, connectivity, intelligence, and shared mobility, auto companies should commit to developing products that help protect the health of drivers and passengers. This will become one of Geely Auto key long-term development objectives.”

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Earlier on January 28, Geely Holding Group joined hands with the Li Shufu Foundation to set up a special 30 million dollars fund in support of the new coronavirus prevention and control, with a focus on the mass purchasing of much needed medical supplies for China in the short term.

Geely’s leading track record will be taken to a new level with the development of an all-round “healthier car.” Geely’s move sets a new precedent in the development of safety technologies that goes beyond developing leading crash test results and moves into new dimensions of passenger safety.

Visit www.geely.ng to find out more about Geely Nigeria

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Business News

Exchange rate falls again at NAFEX window as #EndSARS protests escalates

The Naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window closing at N386/$1.

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Naira, Exchange rate falls across forex markets as dollar liquidity remains low

Nigeria’s exchange rate at the NAFEX window depreciated against the dollar to close at N386/$1 during intraday trading on Monday, October 19.

Also, the naira remained stable against the dollar, closing at N462/$1 at the parallel market on Monday, October 19, 2020, as the protest against the special anti-robbery unit (SARS) and police brutality by the Nigerian youth escalates with its impact on business activities across the country

Parallel market: According to information from Abokifx, a prominent FX tracking website, at the black market where forex is traded unofficially, the Naira remained stable against the dollar to close at N462/$1 on Monday. This was the same rate that it exchanged for on Friday, October 16.

Current developments

  • The local currency had strengthened by about 7.8% within the one week in September at the black market, as the CBN introduced some measures targeted at exporters and importers, in order to try to boost the supply of dollars in the foreign exchange market, and reduce the high demand for forex by traders. The measure
  • The CBN has sold over $500 million to BDCs since they resumed forex sales on Monday, September 7, 2020. This was expected to inject more liquidity to the retail end of the foreign exchange market and discourage hoarding and speculation.
  • However, the exchange rate against the dollar has remained volatile after the initial gains made, following the CBN’s resumption of sales of dollars to the BDCs.
  • The President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Aminu Gwadebe, said he expects the impact of the extra liquidity in the market to be gradual.
  • Despite the drop in speculative buying of foreign exchange, the huge demand backlog by manufacturers and foreign investors still puts pressure and creates a volatile situation in the foreign exchange market.

 

NAFEX: The Naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window on Monday, closing at N386/$1.

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  • This represents a 17 kobo drop when compared with the N385.83/$1 that it exchanged for on Friday, October 16.
  • The opening indicative rate was N386 to a dollar on Monday. This represents a 38 kobo gain when compared to the N386.38 that was recorded on Friday.
  • The N392.30 to a dollar is the highest rate during intraday trading before closing at N386. It also sold for as low as N380/$1 during intraday trading.

Forex turnover: Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window declined by 3.6% on Monday, October 16, 2020.

  • According to the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ, forex turnover dropped from $125.40 million on Friday, October 16, 2020, to $120.93 million on Monday, October 19, 2020.
  • The CBN is still struggling to clear the backlog of foreign exchange demand, especially by foreign investors wishing to repatriate back their funds.
  • The drop in forex supply after the huge increase 2 trading days ago reinforces the volatility of the foreign exchange market. The supply of dollars has been on a decline for months due to low oil prices and the absence of foreign capital inflow into the country.
  • As part of the measure to check forex abuse and check illegal transactions, the CBN last month directed the freezing of accounts of about 38 companies.
  • The average daily forex sale for last week was about $169.93 million, which represents a huge increase from the $34.5 million that was recorded the previous week.
  • Total forex trading at the NAFEX window in the month of August was about $857 million, compared to $937 million in July.
  • The exchange rate is still being affected by low oil prices, dollar scarcity, a backlog of forex demand and a shaky economy that has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • According to Reuters, currency traders said that the naira is expected to be stable this week as banks limit foreign exchange transactions by both firms and individual buyers on the unofficial black market to curb speculation.

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Coronavirus

#EndSARS: FG expects increase in Covid-19 cases in the next 2 weeks

FG has warned that the ongoing #EndSARS protest may spark up a second wave of coronavirus.

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FG approves reopening of NYSC camps, extends tenure of PTF on COVID-19, FG commences process of resumption of international flight operations in weeks, COVID-19: Reactions trail FG travel ban on 13 countries

The Federal Government has warned that Nigerians should expect an increase in the number of coronavirus cases across the country in the next 2 weeks.

This is due to the total disregard of the preventive measures against the virus during the ongoing nationwide #EndSARS protest which has been witnessing huge gatherings.

This disclosure was made by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, at the national briefing of the task force in Abuja on Monday, October 20, 2020.

He said despite the appreciable success recorded so far in the fight against COVID-19, the ongoing protest may spark up a second wave of the virus.

Mustapha said, “I can say it authoritatively that with the ongoing protest across the country, in the next two weeks the cases of COVID-19 would have increased. Each and everyone that attended the protest and did not put up any form of protection is likely going to spread the virus. When people contract the virus during the protest gathering, they will go back home and spread it.

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“This is one of the reasons why we must be extremely careful when we congregate because when you gather together in such an atmosphere where people don’t wear face masks or maintain the social distance you are creating a potential opportunity for carriers to spread the virus.

“So far we have done pretty well as a country but this protest is like a setback and we must avoid a situation where we will have a resurgence. Countries that thought they have overcome are dealing with the second wave. We are extremely lucky as a nation and we should be careful of any situation that can warrant the second wave.”

He said any mass gathering that does not adhere to the non-pharmaceutical interventions that have been put in place, like wearing of face masks, social distancing, and keeping personal hygiene, becomes a super spreader event.

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What it means: With the expected spike in the number of Covid-19 cases due to these protests across the country, Nigeria runs the risk of having a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak which had before now been on a decline. This could lead to the resumption of lockdown measures by the government, in order to contain the spread of the pandemic.

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