By Benjamin Njoku
Federal Government has been asked to shun the idea of dealing with individuals when Nollywood is the subject matter to avoid pitching practitioners against the guilds and associations in the industry.
This was contained in a statement issued yesterday and signed by the presidents of eighteen Nollywood associations including, Ralph Nwadike(Association of Movie Producers, AMP), Fred Amata(irectors Guild of Nigeria, DGN), Emeka Rollas(Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN), Yinka Ogun-(Script Writers Guild of Nigeria,SWGN), Daisy Madu-Chikwendu(Association of Nollywood Core Producers, ANCOP), Yinka Oduniyi(The Independent Television Producers’ Association of Nigeria,ITPAN), Israel Eboh(The National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, NANTAP) among others.
They were reacting to the non-inclusion of presidents of these associations by the Federal Government as members of the newly set up committee of industry stakeholders to advise it on the best way to mitigate the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the creative industry.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had disclosed the new appointments on Wednesday, during a meeting with the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON.
The leadership of the associations, however, described the appointment as an embarrassing and appalling omission , adding that an industry with about 20 guilds, employing about 2.5million youthful Nigerians; recognised globally as the second largest movie production industry in the world, this same industry was not consulted in any way before this purported committee was set up by the government.
The statement reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to a purported creative industry committee reportedly set up by the Federal Government to advise it on how to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the creative industry. We first wish to commend the government for having such initiatives and intentions for the creative industry.”
“It’s a welcome and thoughtful approach to positive intervention and in alignment with other progressive governments the world over, who having appreciated the impact of the pandemic on their creative sectors, developed palliative programs as a support net.”
“However, there are processes and approaches indicative of a transparent and equitable desire to ensure that the needs and requirements of the target sectors are achieved!
It’s a known fact that, the Nigerian creative industry with over 20 guilds, employing about 2.5million Nigerian youths; recognized globally as the fastest growing creative industry, with the second largest movie production industry in the world, an industry worth over US$2Billion with a contribution of 2.3% to the nation’s GDP.”
“It’s also a known fact that these 2.5 million Nigerians belong to associations and organizations generally referred to as guilds, whom they have willingly through legitimate elections handed over the incumbency of their mandates; saying in essence speak and act on our behalf on matters affecting our interests, welfare and well being!”
“If really the government is serious about this noble initiative; we then respectfully call on the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to reconstitute the committee to reflect the actual representatives of the industry. If guilds like the Nigerian Bar Association, Nigerian Medical Association among others are engaged as strategic stakeholders by the government through their recognised associations “ leadership. then the creative industry deserves same relationship.”
“We hold this truth to be self evident that Nollywood has leadership founded and anchored on their Guilds and Associations and we urge the Honourable Minister of Information or any other representative of the federal government, its parastatals and agencies planning any intended dealings with Nollywood to humbly but officially do so through the Guilds and Associations.”
Meanwhile, some of the practitioners appointed into the committee as announced the Minister include:
Ali Baba -Comedy, Film, and TV (Chairman); Bolanle Austen Peters-Film and Performing Arts (TerraKulture); Charles Novia – Television and Independent Producer(TeenTV); Segun Arinze- Actor and Producer; Ali Jita- Actor and Musician; Baba Agba-Film Director (BCI Studios); Kene Okwuosa – Cinema and Distribution (Filmhouse); Efe Omoregbe – Record labels and Collective rights management (Hypertek/Now Muzik); Prince Daniel Aboki – Radio and Film (CoolFM/WaZoBia); Chioma Ude – Streaming (Envivo); Olumade Adesemowo – Television and Platform (FreeTV); Dare Art Alade – Livespot Entertainment; Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim – Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON); Anita Eboigbe of News Agency of Nigeria (Secretary).
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