Shortly after expanding into French-speaking African countries with a new division, Universal Music is further extending its activities on the continent. It’s launching a Universal Music Nigeria division, based in Lagos, to focus on signing and supporting artists from Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and other nearby countries. It’ll be run by veteran music exec Ezegozie Eze Jr, who’ll report in to Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa MD Sipho Diamini.

While the new division has already signed a group of Nigerian artists, it’ll also be working with other UMG offices around the world on co-deals – for example, it has signed Nigerian artist Tekno in partnership with Island Records UK. “The world’s largest music company opening an office within the region is a huge statement of belief in our local music talent,” said Eze in a statement.

Further plans for the new division include opening a recording studio in Lagos – its second on the continent, joining the existing facility in Johannesburg – and working with Universal’s live divisions in Africa, booking agency UMG Live Africa and events firm ULive Africa.

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