World’s largest music label, Universal Music Group (UMG) has announced that it will launch a new division in Nigeria. Universal Music Nigeria, will operate from Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos.

Sipho Dlamini, Managing Director of Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa said that the Nigerian division aims at developing artists and musicians from West African countries, especially Nigeria, Ghana and Gambia.

“Our Nigeria team will support, nurture, and help develop artists, while creating opportunities for new talent from the region to reach the widest possible audience,” said Dlamini.

UMG said the new division will work with the label’s existing operations in Ivory Coast and Morocco. Plans are also underway to Universal Music Nigeria to open a recording studio in Lagos, which would be the label’s second fully purposed studio in Africa alongside another in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The music industry in Nigeria is currently experiencing numerous challenges ranging from the lack of proper legal structures, to piracy and difficulties in distributing and monetising content.

The country’s arts, entertainment and recreation sector contributed 0.29 percent to real GDP in the first quarter of this year, the statistics office said.