Entertainers reject FG’s new COVID-19 committee, demand reconstitution

Posted by News Express | 7 May 2020 | 1,177 times

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•Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed

The 18 Guilds making up Nigeria’s motion pictures industry have sent a backlash on the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, for hand picking a few of their members to serve on the newly constituted COVID-19 committee without any consultations.

It will be recalled that the minister, on behalf of the federal government, announced on Thursday the appointment of Ace comedian Ali Baba, veteran actor Segun Arinze and some others into what he described as “a committee of creative industry stakeholders to advise the federal government on the best way to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry”.

But acting under the aegis, Nollywood Associations and Guilds, the leadership of the industry is asking the federal government to dissolve the said committee and reconstitute same after due consultations with the leadership.

The entertainers made these demands in a statement signed by the presidents of the 18 Guilds issued Thursday night with a copy made available to Maggie’s Blog.

The full statement reads:

Our attention has been drawn to a purported creative industry committee reportedly set up by the Federal Government to advise it on how to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the creative industry.

We first wish to commend the government for having such initiatives and intentions for the creative industry.

It's  a welcome and thoughtful approach to positive intervention and in alignment with other progressive governments the world over, who having appreciated the impact of the pandemic on their creative sectors, developed palliative programs as a support net.

However, there are processes and approaches indicative of a transparent and equitable desire to ensure that the needs and requirements of the target sectors are achieved!

It is a known fact that the Nigerian motion picture industry and the performing arts, Nollywood,  as part of the creative industry have about 20 guilds, employing about 2.5million youthful Nigerians and recognised globally as the second largest movie production industry in the world;  an industry worth US$2.8Billion with a contribution of 2% of the 2.3% contribution of the creative industry to the nation's GDP.

It's also a known fact that these 2.5M Nigerians belong to associations and organisations generally referred to as guilds, whom they have willingly through legitimate elections handed over the incumbency of their mandates; saying in essence speak and act on our behalf on matters affecting our interests, welfare and wellbeing!

It is then inherent and indeed compelling that any discussion concerning the welfare of the industry should as a matter of equity and transparency involve the participation of those guild heads.

Presently, Nigeria is involved in the process of financial discussions with international finance bodies.

No matter how rich or successful an  Aliko Dangote or a Herbert Wigwe maybe or how connected with those financial organisations, they cannot lead the sovereign government delegation to those talks.

The citizens of Nigeria would hold the federal government responsible.

So the 2.5m workers of the Nigerian creative sector would hold the guilds and their leaders responsible!

However, the ministry may in its wisdom nominate individuals from the industry as additional resource based on their experiences and reach.

How can a government anywhere on earth truly appreciate the workings of a sub- sector of the economy if the leadership of that sector were not consulted prior to major decisions affecting the sector?

Nollywood is one of the priority sectors identified by the government for its Economic Recovery and Growth Plans with a projected US$1Billion export revenue in 2020. This is the more reason why the government should involve the  leadership of the industry on critical issues affecting the industry rather than hand-picking a few practitioners  no matter how prominent they may be.

Where there is a will, there is always a way.

We therefore urge the ministry to allow the above positions to guide their present and future engagements with the creative industry.

If really the government is serious about this noble initiative; we then respectfully call on the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to reconstitute the committee to reflect the actual representatives of the industry.

If guilds like the Nigerian Bar Association, Nigerian Medical Association among others are engaged as strategic stakeholders by the government through their recognised association"s leadership. then the creative industry deserves same relationship.

We hold this truth to be self evident that Nollywood has leadership founded and anchored on their Guilds and Associations and we urge the Honourable Minister of Information or any other representative of the federal government,  its parastatals and agencies planning any intended dealings with Nollywood to  humbly but officially do so  through the Guilds and Associations.

SIGNED

For Nollywood Associations and Guilds:

Presidents:

1) AMP Ralph Nwadike

2) AGN Emeka Rollas

3) DGN Fred Amata

4) SWGN  Yinka Ogun

5) ANCOP Daisy Madu

6) MOPPAN Ahmad Sarari

7) CDGN Sele O Sele

8) FVPMAN Emeka Aduah

9) ITPAN YINKA ODUNIYI

10. MACDAN Barr. Izu Osuigwe

11 CEMP Peddie Okhao

12) AMPEENMensah Paul

13 ) NANTAP Israel Eboh

14) TAMPAN Otunba Bolaji Amusan

15 AMCOD Hon Sola Awoleye

16) ANTP

17) AVOA Ngozi Ogbonna

18) CSN

 

 

 


Source: News Express

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