The President, Entertainment Database and a Nigerian Flutist, Omatshola Iseli, popularly known as “Tee Mac”, on Thursday called on the Federal Government to provide COVID-19 palliatives to Nigerian entertainers.
Tee Mac, who made this call in an interview with our reporter in Lagos, said Nigerian entertainers were worst hit by the restrictions occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.
Iseli, also the Chairman, Entertainment Foundation, said the fact that night clubs and multipurpose halls had been shut down and ban on live shows, entertainers like musicians, actors and comedians have been hugely affected.
According to him, with this development, Nigerian Entertainers have no streams of income.
Tee Mac said that palliatives must be extended to these group of individuals just as practiced in other climes like Europe and United States of America (USA).
He said unfortunately, no Nigerian entertainers had receieved any palliative from the governments since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tee Mac said the Federal Government should revisit the issue of COVID-19 palliatives meant for Nigerian Entertainers and ensured that they truly benefited from it.
“Nigerian Entertainers are suffering, if government bans live shows, night clubs and multipurpose halls from operating, they should also cushion the effect on entertainers who were not working by providing palliatives.
“In 2020, we were told that some money was earmarked as COVID-19 palliative for Nigerian Entertainers but up till now, no musician, comedian or actor has received any dime as palliative.
“This is disheartening and I plead with government to wade into this issue promptly because Nigerian entertainers are really suffering.
“In Switzerland, every musician gets US$3,000 per month, in the United States of America, they get US$1,500 per month while musicians in the United Kingdom get 1,500 pounds, this is because their wellbeing is prioritised.
“Nigeria should not be an exemption, the wellbeing of musicians, comedians, visual artists and actors must be placed on the front burner,” he said.
Tee Mac noted that there were over 400,000 professional musicians in Nigeria and about 1.2 million amateur musicians who were currently suffering due to the negative effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The group of people who have suffered the most during this COVID-19 era are the entertainers, the said COVID-19 palliative should be extended to us,” he said.