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Entertainment: Sanwo-Olu inaugurates 9-member committee to drive creativity

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Bababjide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday inaugurated a nine-member committee to drive creativity in the entertainment and tourism sector.

During the inauguration at Lagos House, Marina, Sanwo-Olu initiated an intervention project that would jump-start the transformation of the entertainment and tourism sector.

The nine -member committee on Film Production Empowerment is to fund youth creativity and entertainment activities.

This follows the disruption caused by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) that negatively impacted entertainment and tourism in the state.

The committee’s inauguration came months after the governor set aside N1 billion seed capital to unlock the potential in hospitality and tourism businesses.

“The scheme is to support creative ideas of movie and entertainment producers, who are constrained by funds to bring their concepts into reality.

“Applicants are to be supported with funding based on the financial plans of their projects, the grant may be as much as N40 million for each beneficiary.”

The governor said entertainment and tourism are enablers of growth with huge potential for employment opportunities.

He said the sector was critical to achieving his administration’s youth development objectives, given its high rate of absorption of creative young people in its supply chains.

According to him, aside the N1 billion set aside for hospitality industry, the scheme is specifically targeted at the movie industry, which is known all over the world.

”This is a signpost of all pockets of intervention we have created for development of creativity and tourism sector.

”This is with the belief that we can further raise the status of our creative output and commercialise the returns to a level it can compete with Hollywood and Bollywood.

”We realised most of our film production experts and directors face a lot of funding impediments.

“We are intervening to close this gap and bring credible veterans who have knowledge and have demonstrated capacity in the industry to drive this project.

”That is why we carefully selected five key practitioners in the industry to lead.

“The committee will be supported by four government officials to limit bureaucracy for the committee to achieve its objectives,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said the committee had been given the authority to disburse the support grants to movie producers who had fresh ideas and those whose stories were yet to be completed.

He charged the committee to work out its engagement modalities and administrative responsibility of selecting the beneficiaries of the scheme.

”As we roll out this scheme, we want to be able to help the industry around job creation and bring youths out of unemployment, using the creative industry.

”We also want to create entrepreneurs that will use their creativity to enhance the market shares of the sector.

”We want to support industry practitioners to raise capacity, support development of local content and discourage the action of taking proceeds from the industry out of the country, thereby denying local practitioners the benefits of their talents.

”We will not restrict your (committee’s) ability; we will give you leeway to do your job,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The governor said the intervention would galvanise the private sector into committing more funding to the industry for accelerated growth.

He said the scheme would unlock the potential of the Lagos coastline and turn it into a destination of choice in African tourism.

The Commissioner for Tourism, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, said the committee members would set the conditions for accessing this fund and determine eligibility of applicants.

She said that they would decide on the amount that could be given to an individual applicant or group at a particular time.

”This intervention will make Lagos state to continue to retain its position as the hub of film making in Nigeria and as a city for the creative minds,” Akinbile-Yussuf said.

Richard Mofe-Damijo – a veteran filmmaker and Nollywood actor – is the Chairman of the nine-member committee.

Other industry veterans in the committee are, ace cinematographer, Tunde Kelani; a Film and Television Producer, Mo Abudu; Movie Director, Kunle Afolayan; and Peace Anyim-Osigwe.

The government officials in the committee are Adebukola Agbaminoja, Ferdinand Tinubu, Taju Olajumoke and Mrs Funke Avoseh (Secretary).

Mofe-Damijo said: ”We don’t have any excuse not to perform in this assignment.

“We will do everything in our capacity to ensure that result which the governor has envisioned comes to reality.”

Florence Onuegbu

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective.A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour.The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.

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