FRONTLINE filmmaker, critic and former National President of Association of Movie Producers,AMP, Mr. Zik Zulu Okafor has predicted that the Nigerian movie industry will witness a bumper year in 2018, despite the prevailing economic depression in the country.
In a chat with HVP, at the just concluded Best of Nollywood Awards,BON, held last Saturday night at the Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State, the frontline film maker expressed optimism that Nollywood would make significant contribution to the nation’s GDP in the coming year.
According to him, “I see more cinema houses springing up as a result of what the government is doing presently. There will be bigger movies and bigger revenue emanating from the movie industry. Nollywood will contribute significantly to the GDP of this country. In terms of our contribution to the GDP, it dropped this year. But I’m hopeful that it will raise next year.”
The former AMP boss, however, lamented lack of funding, describing it as a big challenge for the movie industry. “Nollywood needs a lot of training and government can still help in this area. Government need to support Nollywood with training facilities,” Okafor posited.
Reviewing how the industry has fared during the outgoing year, Zik Zulu scored the movie industry very high, adding that the industry has done very well in this outgoing year. “It’s raising the bar with many quality and commercially successful movies such “Wedding Party 2”, ’76″, “Okafor’s Law”, “A Trip to Jamaica”, “Olobiri” among others. Also, the cinema houses are expanding and we now have more screening centers. Before now, we had only few screening centers. The industry is on the movie,” said Zik Zulu.
Speaking further, Zik Zulu praised the government for its encouraging participation in the indsutry. In his words, his optimism that the industry will witness a bumper year is based on the fact that the government is finally beginning to understand the huge potentials of the creative sector and has shown the willingness to effectively activate a number of initiatives that will move the industry forward.
“The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed is one of the best ministers we have had in recent times in terms of paying attention to creative industry with quality thinking, quality observation and quality results. The minister has indeed inspired the industry and given us hope. He’s working to see how the BoI can bring down the interest rate to 9 percent for the NollyFund. Indeed, government participation is very fantastic in the outgoing year. We have never had the kind of interest government had shown in the industry as we are having at the moment. It’s about laying proper foundation and improving on it. I think this administration is doing well in that area,” he said