Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a subsidiary of the Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has reaffirmed its interest in the growth of the Nigerian entertainment industry in Nigeria; as the bank is set to support the construction of various cinemas as well as the provision of infrastructure to galvanize growth in the industry. Mr. Damian Umeasala, Enterprise Finance Officer, Enterprise Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, disclosed this at the maiden edition of The Entertainment Fair and Festival Conference (TEFFEST). The theme of the event which held at The Podium, Lekki, Lagos was ‘Entertainment is Life: Welcome to the Future’. Mr. Umeasala stated that the financial institution was already in talks with movie distributors and cinema houses like Filmhouse, Genesis and Silverbird Galleria, amongst others, to provide a funding structure for the construction of more cinemas across the country. He also pointed out that Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC was partnering with TEFFEST to understand the dynamics of the industry so as to grow its investment in the sector. He added: “Our support for the creative sector is also in line with a mandate that we have from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under a special intervention fund called ‘The Creative Industry Financing Initiative’ in which the regulatory body has mandated all banks to set aside 5% of their profit after tax for the purpose of lending to players and professionals in this creative sector at 9% interest rate.” The Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) is a loan scheme developed in collaboration with the CBN, to provide access to long-term and low-interest financing for entrepreneurs in the creative industry. Mr. Umeasala further noted that the bank was prepared to support players in the creative sector with loan facilities either as individuals or as a group; adding that the gesture extends to media content creators for Cable TV Stations. The convener of TEFFEST, Mrs. Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, said the event was borne out of the need to proffer solutions to the myriad challenges bedeviling the entertainment industry in Nigeria. While expressing her appreciation to the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, the veteran thespian mentioned that TEFFEST was partnering with the bank to support the industry and help build the structure needed for growth. TEFFEST is the first entertainment business festival in Nigeria that promotes and showcases world-class innovations around the entertainment business to Africa. It is a platform that provides structure, improves ease of business and showcase how all other industries can service, improve, relate to, and work with the entertainment industry.