Segun Arinze replies Kabat Esosa plus Ibinabo fiberesima speech at the Villa

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I think it’s so unfair for anyone to criticise AGN for paying a courtesy visit to President Goodluck Jonathan. We are an Association in Nollywood and our visit was to discuss issues as it affects our Guild and the industry in general.  Everybody transported themselves to and fro. We didn’t go begging for alms. Pls do read Madam President Ibinabo Fiberisma’s  speech which has been sent by mail to you. Kabat’s statement was totally uncalled for. We are very apolitical.  We have a right to visit GEJ after all he’s the president of the federal Republic of Nigeria.  Chyke Bryan who is the president of screen writers guild is down with kidney problem. What have the members of that guild of whom Kabat is also a member done to raise money for his treatment?  They should stop poking their noses in other people’s business.  And focus on how to move the industry forward instead of bickering and sulking like Children. Making a mountain out of a molehill.

IBINABO FIBERESIMA’S SPEECH BELOW;

AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT OF ACTORS GUILD OF NIGERIA, AGN CHIEF IBINABO FIBERESIMA DURING AN OFFICIAL COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA DR. GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR AT THE PRESIDENTIAL VILA, ABUJA. FEBRUARY 18, 2014.

 

Your Excellency,

Dr. Good Luck Ebele Jonathan-GCFR;

President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces

Federal Republic of Nigeria;

Secretary to the government of the federation;

Head of Service;

Honourable Ministers

Principal officers of Mr. President;

 

All other protocols, duly observed.

Mr. President, I am delighted and I consider it a special privilege and honour to be at the head of the delegation of members of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) who are on this visit to your office to thank you Mr. President for all your support to Nollywood and the entertainment industry since you assumed headship of this great country and also to commend your transformation efforts.

The phenomenal achievements recorded so far in power supply, agriculture, transportation, petroleum sector, trade and investments, employment generation and youth empowerment and other key sectors of the economy are quite commendable.

Mr. President, Sir, I Ibinabo Fiberesima lead the Actors Guild of Nigeria as President. I am by the grace of God, the first female President of the Guild since it was established over 15 years ago.

Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, is the “Face of Nollywood” as our members are Branding Ambassadors who project the positive image of our dear country Nigeria to the world and champion the propagation of love, culture and tourism through our movies.

I have come with the Board of Trustees, Executive Council and some key members of the only umbrella body for Actors in Nollywood, with over five million members spread across 35 states in Nigeria.

We are indeed the largest Actors Association in Africa and we here today to affirm our complete support for your transformational agenda which we strongly believe will lead us to become a strong, productive and prosperous Nation.

Indeed I consider this day a happy day because it provides us the opportunity to acknowledge the fact that for the first time in public service history, a sitting President has shown tremendous support for the Industry, by consistently giving financial muscle to the transformation and development of NOLLYWOOD.

We recall the $200 million intervention fund and the N3 billion, which Mr. President specifically said should be used for capacity building, commissioning of best scripts and for infrastructural development.

We like to place on record that the release of the funds is the first by any government specifically dedicated to the Nollywood industry since independence.

This is why we are always very proud to say that we have a President, who has continually demonstrated his love for Nollywood and who had on several occasions highlighted its potentials in youth employment, socio cultural growth, revenue generation, in building bridges of peace and unity across Nigeria and projecting the image of Nigeria, positively abroad.

Mr. President sir, my ultimate objective as President of the guild is to deliver better professional and financial opportunities for my members, provide for their long-term welfare (as the acting career can be a precarious one) and to help improve on the various structures of Nollywood that will enhance its image worldwide.

As a non-union organization, our main focus is to source support in the areas of finance, funding, provision of standard production equipment for use by our members and the corresponding training facilities and also improves the livelihoods of our actors whilst making the future of our industry more sustainable.

But we have found it difficult to achieve these because public funding policies are still scanty, professional training; production infrastructure and distribution mechanism is almost non-existent, while piracy has prevented the industry from reaching its full economic potential.

There is little doubt that one of the ways to build a solid industry is by enabling Actors, who play a very significant role in bringing a script to screen, to derive tangible benefits from their work and enough security to envisage making a living from it.

Granting Actors rights – social rights of course but also, which is the focus of this visit Mr. President, intellectual property rights – is an important step towards that goal.

But Mr. President, Your Nollywood is in dire need of purposeful, practical, dynamic and experienced leadership at the helm of affairs of the two regulatory agencies whose function border on our industry, that is, the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB).

Those that have been appointed to run those agencies have shown lack of capacity to put the industry on the path of growth especially in this transformational period.

We implore Mr. President to review those appointments and appoint administrators with passion, zeal and total dedication to the development of the film Industry.

Also Mr. President, Nollywood is in dire need of a modern,
responsive legal environment for it to continue to thrive and remain relevant to your administration’s transformation agenda.  The present Copyright Act is now grossly inadequate particularly in digital and
Internet environment.

We are aware of the various abuses that Nigerian movies are subjected to, while the regulatory authorities are helpless.

The criminal sanctions for piracy and other copyright infringements have become ridiculously low and no longer as sufficient deterrence to infringers.

Considering the pre-eminent position of the copyright industries and their contribution to national growth the comprehensive reform of our copyright system should be given immediate attention.

 

Nigeria also needs to ratify the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, which was signed in 1996 and the more recent Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, which was also signed in 2012.

Both treaties provide the needed upgrade in the protection of performers in the music and film industries respectively.

 

Similarly, the path for growth for any industry is when the industry is opened up for collaboration.

This is why it will gladden our hearts, if Mr. President directs the relevant government agencies to negotiate and sign the countless co-production treaties that exist between Nigeria and several countries for the benefit of the Nigerian motion picture industry.

It will interest Mr. President to know that Nollywood does not have a single co-production treaty with any country.

This is the invisible ceiling that has hindered the ordered and structured international development of the film industry and the subsequent loss of potential Foreign Direct Investment and its positive impact on job creation.

More importantly Mr. President, we implore to see to the full implementation of the revised National Film Policy (NFP) and to present the bill on the setting up of the Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPPICON) as an Executive bill that should speedily be passed into law.

We want MOPPICON to be to the movie industry what the Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria (APCON) is to advertising practice in Nigeria.

We believe that that the implementation of the revised national film policy which provides among other things for the setting up of community cinemas in each of the local government area of the country, the setting up of MOPPICCON and the setting up of a sustainable film fund, is the most important intervention tool that the Nigerian motion picture industry requires to address some of its structural deficiencies.

Mr. President, my address will not be complete if I don’t make the following requests, which are specific to the Actors Guild of Nigeria.

First, as an affiliate of the Federation of International Actors (FIA), the AGN requires as a matter of urgency a land and a building in the FCT for our headquarters to be named The Goodluck Jonathan Screen Actors House.

This building when provided will save us the avalanche of embarrassments we receive anytime we host our international friends and colleagues.

We hope we shall not be asking for too much if we crave for the kind indulgence and disposition of Mr. President to help facilitate the provision of an office for the Guild.

Also Mr. President, we thank you for the few considerations you have made in appointing some of our members like Kanayo. O Kanayo, Sani Danja and Madam Onyeka Onwenu into key government positions, but like Oliver Twist we would request for more of such Federal appointments so that we can contribute our quota to National Development.

Related to this, Mr. President Sir, Nollywood is a key factor in the Nigerian nation; as those that tell the Nigeria’s story, we feel we have a voice to lend at the forthcoming National Conference. We therefore seek to have a slot in the proposed National Conference.

Training and retraining is very essential in our Guild, we therefore crave your indulgence to support us in the areas of training, whichis very peculiar considering our diverse cultures and traditions.

And finally Mr. President, We also request that AGN should be keyed into the Centenary celebration to enable us produce a historic film that will talk about us from 1914-2014 with a view to chronicle the achievements of our founding fathers and socio political evolution. Let us capture the values that they employed.

Let me end by once again restating our pledge to support your efforts and continue to promote the core values of a new Nigeria, the values of Unity, Peace, Democracy, Hardwork, Honesty and free enterprise. I know we all share these values, let us work harder to promote them.

I thank you most sincerely sir, for listening and for receiving us and at this point I like to invite Mr. President to be officially decorated as GRAND PATRON OF THE ACTORS GUILD OF NIGERIA.

Ibinabo Fiberesima

National President

Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN)

agn visit

1 Comment

  1. pst Prisca Richards Blackson

    February 20, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    Great speech! Chief Ibinabo Fiberesima. God bless u. Thanks to the President of Nigeria. God bless Nollywood

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