(Isaac Anumihe, ABUJA)
As part of efforts to make the entertainment industry more viable, Federal Government, at the weekend, inaugurated a committee to review and restructure the N3 billion grant earlier granted the industry.
Through the project, the Federal Government implemented specialist training programmes in Nigeria and abroad in which 247 practitioners have been trained to improve their technical and professional capacities in the entertainment industry.
So far, a total of 113 film projects, employing 2,436 people, have been co-financed through grants from the fund at the cost of N799 million, while an Innovative Film Distribution Programme has been designed to support viable solutions in film distribution and the prevention of privacy.
Inaugurating the committee, in Abuja, during a meeting convened to brainstorm on how to address the challenges of the sector, Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said time had come for investors in the sector to start getting returns on their investment.
She said the desire to reposition and restructure the fund was borne out of the need to stimulate investments in the entertainment industry owing to its job creation potentials.
“This grant programme was conceived to support the industry and it’s a reflection of the importance of the entertainment industry on the Nigerian economy. What we have come here to do is to look at the outstanding parts of the programme as yet unimplemented, to review them to ensure that they are still appropriate where the industry is today and where our objectives lie for the industry. We want to ensure sustainability. Three billion naira is not enough if we are going to give out money. What we need to do is to find a sustainable way to support Nollywood. We will be inaugurating a committee to review the programme, restructure it if necessary and to come up with an implementation plan with measurable and demonstrable deliverables and outcomes so that we ensure that we get maximum value for the industry and for the Nigerian people.” he said.
While challenging the operators in the sector to be firm in tackling the issue of piracy, the Minister of Finance, said that most of the people who have worked hard to come up with creative movie don’t get to benefit from their investments owing to piracy.
“We need to improve distribution to ensure that the investments to make a film actually gets the desired return. What do we do about piracy? How can we make this fund to ensure that we cut down the opportunities for those who simply sit back and wait for others to invest and then cream off the profit,” she asked.