COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE EMERGENCY SUMMIT MEETING OF THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY HELD OCTOBER 1, 2023
The Emergency Meeting of the Nigerian Music Industry with the theme, ‘Identification of Internal and External Regulatory Mechanisms to Smoothen the Working Relationship among Various Stakeholders and Subgroups in the Music Industry.’ was held on the 1st of October 2023, virtually from 6.00 pm (Nigerian Time) and ends 7.45 pm (Nigerian Time).
The Summit was facilitated by All Africa Music Awards – AFRIMA Music Business Summit in partnership with the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Record Label Proprietors Initiative (RELPI), Association of Music Artist Managers of Nigeria (AMAMN) and Music Publishers Association of Nigeria (MPAN), among others.
The goal of the meeting was to take a holistic approach to identify some of the issues encumbering the growth of the industry with a view to finding a far-reaching solution to them. It also provided an opportunity for experts to deliberate on how to deepen and institutionalise professionalism so as to guarantee the stability and sustainable growth of the Nigerian music industry.
Participants at the virtual meeting included musicians/artistes, record labels owners, A&R, producers, promoters, artiste’s managers, songwriters, DJs & video vixens, video directors, equipment production and rental companies, publishing companies, streaming service companies, entertainment lawyers, royalty companies, choreographers/dancers, entertainment/music journalists and media, culture and music enthusiasts, brands, collecting societies, financial experts, business managers, marketing communication experts, and other supporting professionals, among others.
In his welcome address, the President of AFRIMA, Mr Mike Dada, underlined the commitment of the awards organisation to collaborate with industry stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the myriad of problems facing the creative industry in Africa, starting with Nigeria.
He said the shocking and painful death of a fast-rising afrobeat artist, Mohbad, has become a trigger to push the narrative for a change in a sector yearning for growth.
The meeting, which was moderated by veteran artiste manager and industry giant Efe Omoregbe, identified challenges posed against the growth of the industry as thus:
- Participants agreed that there are several challenges facing new entrants in the music industry, especially upcoming artistes which include a lack of information about industry operations.
- One of the participants noted that the exploitation of artistes by record labels could manifest in various ways, including unfair contracts, inadequate compensation, and limited creative control, and participants bemoaned the absence of industry-specific regulations that set guidelines for fair contracts and revenue sharing.
- Similarly, artistes’ penchant for abandoning validly subsisting contractual agreements with record labels and their lack of music business knowledge or entrepreneurial initiatives were identified as factors that also deepened acrimony in the industry.
- Absence of a legal framework that will institutionalise minimum entry requirements for players in the industry, including musicians and record labels to discourage quackery, mediocrity, and substandardization in the music ecosystem.
- The meeting is also worried about the lack of cooperation among industry-relevant players, sectoral bodies, and organizations, emphasizing the danger of working at cross-purposes.
- The mental health of artistes and the absence of institutional support, advocacy and other interventions to address the issue are also seen as major concerns.
- Lack of a central information desk and arbitration mechanism for the operations of the industry players.
RESOLUTION AND ACTION PLANS ADOPTED
Far-reaching resolutions and action plans were adopted at the Summit, which are captured thus:
- Participants agreed that legislation is the cornerstone upon which a successful and sustainable music industry is built. It plays a pivotal role in shaping the dynamics of the industry, safeguarding the rights of artists and other stakeholders, promoting innovation, and ensuring a fair and competitive environment. Hence a need for well-crafted laws and regulations that can provide a stable framework for the industry, protect the rights of artistes, creators, record labels and promote investment, and foster a vibrant music ecosystem.
- Identify and reach out to other sectoral bodies who were not represented at the emergency meeting and bring these critical industry players to the next round table of discussion on the evolution, growth, and way forward for the sector.
- Set up a four-man ad hoc committee of entertainment and music legal practitioners to look at the mandate of current sectoral bodies and advise on whether the legal instruments governing the operations of these bodies need to be strengthened to meet the demands of the ever-evolving sector.
- Nomination of two members each from the leadership of the sectoral bodies to further discuss issues raised at the meeting in two weeks and come up with an action plan that will be submitted to the larger congregation at the next meeting slated to be held in one month’s time.
- Bringing together experts, professionals, and representatives of relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of Government (MDAs) into a committee to develop a legal framework and mobilise support for the establishment of a music institute by an act of parliament was also an item raised at the meeting but participants agreed that further engagements are required on the suitability of such important action and the matter was stepped down for further discussion in subsequent meetings.
- The meeting also charged all players within the music ecosystem, especially the artistes to join relevant organisations to further guarantee and protect them and their crafts.
- There is a need to prevent the negative perception or sidelining of professional bodies such as PMAN, MPAN, AMAMN, and RELPI, and an urgent need for an umbrella body for the various sectoral bodies operating within the music industry in Nigeria. By consolidating the industry structures, participants believe the key players can stimulate a more supportive and collaborative environment for growth.
- Encourage continuous education and engagement of sectoral bodies on roles, responsibilities, obligations, and benefits to the internal and external players in the music industry.
- It was also agreed that another edition of the Summit Meeting of the Nigerian Music Industry should be held within one month.
Up to 60 industry players participated in the Summit including Dr. Kenny Ogungbe, Mike Dada, Sunny Neji, Pretty Okafor (PMAN President), Olumide Mustapha (Chairman, MPAN), Sijuade Adedokun, (President AMAMN), Chinedu Chukwuji, (National Coordinator, RELPI), Mayo Ayilaran,(DG/CEO, MCSN), Ara, Laolu Akins, Joel Ajayi, Yinka Obebe, Justine Ige, Kesse Jabari, Louis Udoh, Tayo Eleshin and Precious Obeahon among others.
Mike Dada, for AFRIMA.
Pretty Okafor, for PMAN.
Sijuade Adedokun, for AMAMN.
Olumide Mustapha, for MPAN.
Chinedu Chukwuji, for RELPI.