…As Sanwo-Olu unveils health insurance cover for actors in film industry
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Ahead of the 2023 general polls, theatre practitioners and Nollywood Stars have unanimously endorsed All Progressives Congress, APC’s Presidential Candidate, Bola Tinubu for presidency and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for second term with a promise to work for their victory in the 2023 presidential and governorship elections.
Governor, Sanwo-Olu, had earlier announced plans to institute a health insurance scheme for theatre practitioners in the state.
The Governor announced the scheme during a dinner with veterans in the Yoruba Nollywood industry at the Lagos House, Marina on Monday night.
The dinner was attended by over 100 Yoruba theatre practitioners, directors, producers and marketers, among which were: Tade Ogidan, Lere Paimo, Fausat Balogun, Iyabo Ogunsola, Yomi Fash-Lanso, Charles Olumo, Saidi Balogun, Toyin Adegbola, Taiwo Hassan, Damola Olatunji, Bimbo Akintola and Eniola Badmus, among others.
The announcement by Sanwo-Olu was commended by the Nollywood actors and actresses at the event who appreciated the Governor for deeming it fit to take care of the health of the theatre practitioners, especially the veterans in the industry.
Recall that in recent times, theatre practitioners battling various health challenges and lacking funds have had to take to social media to beg Nigerians to foot their medical bills. Some are also living in penury due to their inability to work due to old age and health challenges.
Sanwo-Olu, who said he would pay the insurance premium cover for the theatre practitioners, most of whom are aging, said the Nigerian movie industry and practitioners had played key roles in shaping development of Lagos.
He said: “We realise that your industry is one of the highest employers of labour. You have continued to provide succour and means of livelihoods to a lot of citizens quietly. More importantly, you give freshness to our lives through your stories. There is always a lesson and information to learn from the experiences you paint in your works. You fill in the creative space of our society and project good values about our culture, way of life and race.
“It is interesting to see your industry grow, even without enough support. You are able to stand and build names around the industry. As a Government, some of the interventions we have brought forward to assist your industry are not out of place; it is your right and entitlement which makes the Government to look back in assistance to further shape our society for greater good.
“To further enhance our intervention, we are going to initiate an insurance scheme to assist the Nollywood and give the practitioners free access to health care in public health facilities. This scheme will be specially categorised for professionals in the film business.
“This is yet another token of what the Government can offer those who have shaped our society. The insurance scheme would come in handy for practitioners who cannot afford medical expenses and prevent them from seeking assistance in an embarrassing manner.”
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