By BENJMAIN NJOKU
The Federal Government has been urged to reform the security architecture of the country in order to accommodate the restoration of nightlife in the major cities, which will enable the entertainment industry to thrive.
This is in addition to relaxing the conditions attached to assessing government funding, for creative and entertainment sector purposes, considering the peculiar limitations of aspiring and young artistes.
This was contained in a communique issued as part of the resolutions passed at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Entertainment & Economic Round-table, which held recently in Lagos.
The participants, comprising of stakeholders in the creative industry, government functionaries (federal & state) and policy makers also urged the government to endeavour to establish what they called the Nigerian Entertainment Bank (NEB), the Nigerian Institute of Entertainment and the Nigerian Entertainment City.
According to them, setting up of these institutions will not only help in terms of industry-specific financing, but also, for standardization and quality control.
The communique, signed by Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Ladan and Barr. Ben Ihesiulo as Chairman and Secretary, Communiqué Committee, also urged the government to reactivate moribund Motion Pictures ACT, which will help to regulate the sector and entrench international best practices among practitioners in the industry.
“There’s need for government to formulate policies, through loans and grants that will encourage young talents to excel in the industry with no stringent collaterals,”
“There’s need for Federal Government, through Ministry of Budget and National Planning, to reach out to State Governments, particularly their Culture and Tourism and Budget and Planning Ministries for synergy, harmony in target-setting, project implementation and optimal outcomes,” it said.
For the purpose of sustainability, the communique wants the government to support the Roundtable with funding of its annual budget in addition to involving the leadership of the Roundtable in the successor-plan of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) as it pertains to the creative, culture and tourism sectors.
The Roundtable, it said sought to be a platform for a mutually profitable engagement between creative and entertainment industry practitioners and their drivers stakeholders on the one part and government (federal & state), on the other part, on the issues of policy, regulatory framework, legal regime , growth and general industry environment which is geared towards generating the requisite critical mass needed to transform the industry, which a major revenue earner and significant contributor to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP).
In attendance were 156 participants who were mainly leading industry practitioners, heads of Guilds, stakeholders, government functionaries (federal & state) and policy makers. Also in virtual attendance, via zoom platform, were notable international resource persons namely; His Excellency, Mr. Abhay Thakur, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Fahad Al-Taffaq, United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Nigeria who were Guests of Honour at the event as well as Her Excellency,Ms. Babara Odeng-Gyasi,the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Arts and culture, Ghana.