Adebayo, a detribalised Nigerian, astute administrator – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the Federal Government will amend the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code to compel brands to sponsor Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). The Minister made the assertion at the close of the “Two-Day Creative Industry Financing Conference’’, sponsored by the ministry in conjunction with “Think Tank Media and Advertising’’ which closed on Tuesday in Lagos. “We will amend the NBC code to ensure that our Premier League improves. “We will make sure that in the Code, if you spend one million dollars to support a foreign football club like Manchester United in Nigeria, you will not be allowed to air that programme unless you spend 30 per cent of that money to promote Nigeria’s league. “Some beverage companies in Nigeria support Manchester United (Man U), Arsenal and others and spend about six million dollars a year,’’ he said. “I then asked the question, how much of their products are being consumed over there? “I was also told that a particular brand of Nigeria Beer is supporting several premier league teams to the tune of seven million dollars a year. “We can imagine if they give us just 30 per cent of that, we will fix our stadia. “I know they are going to attack me on this but I am not made a minister to sustain the economy of other countries.’’ He said the government could no longer tolerate the situation where people continue to develop the economy of other parts of the world from the sweat of Nigerians and at the expense of Nigerian economy. The minister also clarified an earlier statement credited to him on the amendment to NBC Code to discourage production of Nigerian movies and music abroad. “At that meeting, I said that I will work to amend the NBC code to ensure that if a product is designated a Nigerian product; it must be produced in Nigeria. “I didn’t say that henceforth, all music and films will be produced in Nigeria. “All I said was that if a programme is designated as a Nigerian content programme, we will amend the code to ensure that it is produced in Nigeria,’’ he said. He added that if the law says that a programme shall have 60 per cent Nigerian content, the producer could not go ahead to shoot such outside the country for Nigerian viewers. “Of course, they will come and say that you do not have infrastructure and that is why they went outside to shoot. “I asked if it is not the same programme you went to shoot outside Nigeria because we have epileptic power that you will bring back to show to us in Nigeria. “Then, with which power are you showing the programme? “I promised Nigerians that I am going to create one million jobs in three years and I can’t do that if they start exporting jobs to other countries,’’ he said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants at the forum, mainly stakeholders in the creative industry, welcomed the clarification by the minister and the position of government.
Lai Mohammed
United Bank for Africa

The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described the late Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, former military governor of the old Western Region, as a detribalised Nigerian who contributed immensely to the peace and unity of the country.

The Minister told newsmen during a condolence visit to late Adebayo`s family home in Lagos on Saturday that the deceased played a big role in the stability of the country at the critical time he was governor.

Mohammed,who was received by the deceased`s widow,Modupeola and daughter,Mrs Nike Makinde, as well as other family members, said Adebayo was a passionate and astute administrator who put the interest of the country first in all he did.

He said the life and times of late Adebayo was a great leadership lesson in tolerance and peaceful co-existence as he was very understanding and tolerated everybody, regardless of ethnic and religious background.

“Late Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo was an astute administrator who did his best to promote the peace and progress of Nigeria, particularly the old Western region, when he was governor.

“I think what we need to learn from the great leadership achievements of late Adebayo is that Nigeria is too delicate a place; we must understand the various sensibilities; we might be a country, but we are a country of many nations.

“So anybody who is entrusted with the mantle of leadership must look at Nigeria from that perspective. He must be very understanding, accommodating and tolerant.

“And we can say about late Adebayo that he was tolerant, understanding and accommodating, and was able to achieve quietly what others would achieve with so much noise,“ he said.

The minister said Nigerians should celebrate late Adebayo rather than mourn, adding that history would be kind to him for his role in keeping the country together.

In her comments, the deceased`s daughter, Makinde, said the late patriarch of the family was a perfect example in humility and selfless service.

She said their father was not given to materialism, but dedicated all he had for the comfort and needs of the less privileged around him.

“Our father was a good example of humility and generosity. He always told us to humble ourselves before people and never feel that we were important.

“He was not materialistic; he did not live for himself alone, but also for the needy. He was always helping people and would not say it.

“He was such a wonderful father.We will sorely miss him for his great impacts. He really did his best for humanity,“she said.

Makinde thanked Nigerians for standing with the family, saying the condolences they had received were a measure of the achievements and the goodwill of their late father.

Newsverge reports that the late Adebayo , father of former Ekiti governor, Mr Niyi Adebayo, died in Lagos on March 8, a day to his 89th birthday.