French television company Canal+ has acquired Lagos-based ROK film studio from VOD company IROKOtv. ROK film studio was incubated to create original content, particularly Nollywood movies, for the online platform, IROKOtv. Canal+ is expected to take the Nollywood production ethos to other countries and regions of Africa, particularly to develop the French-speaking part of the continent. Canal+ Chief Content Officer, Fabrice Faux, told TechCrunch that the CEO of IROKOtv, Mary Njoku will stay on as Director-General under the Canal+ acquisition. The firm will provide administrative support, finance, and equipment, but otherwise will give Njoku maximum autonomy and creative freedom. The firm’s data showed that Njoku’s creative work so far has led ROK to the production of over 540 movies and 25 original TV series. Under the deal, ROK will continue to create content for IROKOtv, with ROK’s existing channels; three on DSTV, ROK Sky in the UK and Canal+’s Africa and global channels. The ROK acquisition is not the Canal+ Group’s first collaboration with IROKOtv. The media company joined a $19 million Series E investment in 2016, that also saw Canal+ and IROKO launch a French VOD channel. This was shortly after Netflix announced it would go live in Africa, though with little original African content. Netflix has since started to commission film content from Nigeria. IROKOtv, founded by Jason Njoku in 2010, is backed by $45 million in venture capital.
Data from the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria showed that Nigerians spent about ₦3.1 billion to watch movies at the cinemas in the first half of 2019. The breakdown of the report showed that Aquaman, Chief Daddy and Up North were the top three movies, with estimated combined earnings of ₦168.2 million in H1 this year. The movies maintained their positions until the fourth week of January when Glass debuted at number one. This brought about combined earnings of ₦91.4 million, which fell to ₦77.3 million as January closed with Kevin Hart’s The Upside kicking Chief Daddy to fourth place. Earnings remained low for February, making it the lowest grossing month with a total of ₦291.8 million. Viewership picked up steadily by March, leading to a total of ₦434.4 million. At the beginning of April, Hellboy, Shazam, Little and Us continued to share the top spot with Captain Marvel until the release of the much anticipated Avengers: Endgame. The earnings with Avengers: Endgame from April climbed from ₦186.9 million in its third week to ₦342.4 million in its final week. The month, which is the highest grossing in 2019, closed with estimated total earnings of ₦734.6 million due to a major boost from Endgame. There was a massive dip in earnings in May similar to that experienced in February. Cinemas earned a total of ₦367.5 million in May, but the numbers picked up in June with John Wick: Parabellum, Godzilla and Aladdin leading the numbers. They were supported by Anna, Men In Black, Dark Phoenix and Bling Lagosians leading to a total earning of ₦576.3 million.
Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 11.22 percent in June 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. The inflation dropped by 0.18 percent points year-on-year, lower than the 11.40 percent rate recorded in May 2019. The report showed that food inflation slowed down at 13.56 percent from 13.79 percent in June 2019, while Core inflation dropped to 8.80 percent from 9.00 percent recorded in the previous month. On a month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 1.07 percent in June 2019, this is 0.04 percent rate lower than the rate of 1.11 percent recorded in May 2019. The further breakdown of the data showed that urban inflation rate increased by 11.61 percent y-o-y in June 2019 from 11.76 percent recorded in May 2019, while the rural inflation rate increased by 10.87 percent from 11.08 percent in the same period. On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.10 percent in June 2019, up by 0.05 from 1.15 percent recorded in May 2019, while the rural index also rose by 1.05 percent in June 2019, up by 0.02 from the rate recorded in May 2019, 1.07 percent.
10 million Nigerian bank accounts were abandoned in the first half of 2019 prompting the number of inactive bank accounts to rise by 26 percent, year-on-year, according to the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System. The NIBSS Industry Customer Bank Account Data for June 2019 showed that Nigerians opened 10.97 million bank accounts within the same period. The number of inactive bank accounts rose to 49.4 million in H1’19 from 39 million recorded in H1’18. Quarterly, the number of inactive bank accounts rose by five percent in the Q2’19, from 46.89 million in Q1’19. However, the number of active bank accounts rose by 0.82 percent to 72.97 million in H1’19 from 72.3 million in H1’18. The number of active bank accounts Q-o-Q dropped by 1.1 million or 1.4 percent to72.97 million in Q2’19 from 74.03 million in Q1’19. The number of current accounts grew by 20 percent to 29.28 million in H1’19 from 24.4 million in H1’18 while the number of savings accounts rose by seven percent to 89.8 million from 83.9 million in H1’18. Quarterly, the number of current accounts rose by 3.0 percent to 29.28 million in Q2’19 from 28.56 million in Q1’19 while the number of savings accounts rose slightly by 0.81 percent to 89.8 million in Q2’19 from 89.05 million in Q1’19.