IBB- NOLLYWOOD DESERVES OUR ATTENTION TO GROW

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SEUNMANUEL FALEYE

Former Head of State Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, has opined that Nigerian Movie industry deserves our collective attention because of its vast potential for social, political and economic development it holds for the nation.

IBB made this allusion yesterday in Abuja at the conference of the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA) hosted by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO).

The General represented by Alhaji Ismahil Ibrahim said the conference is aimed at stimulating valuable issues which under-pinned the nation’s development.

He posited that the theme of the conference: “Repositioning Nollywood for the Promotion of Nigeria’s Cultural Diplomacy and National Security”, would be instrumental to promoting the country’s highly cherished cultural values through film production.nollywood
Babangida said that it was his government’s policy of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in the late 1980s that gave rise to the deregulation of the broadcast media that energized and sprouted independent producers in the Nigerian film industry.

“Through films, our rich and diverse cultural heritage and achievements can be projected and promoted to attract tourists and investors the way foreign films have been effectively used to promote India and American national interests.
“This policy opened up the entertainment space and massively encouraged creativity.
“Check the records of the industry between the pre-1986 SAP era and the post-1992 deregulation experience.
“Nollywood exploded in the Nigerian society and the economy crossing our national borders into the African continent, America and Europe,” he said.

IBB said that Federal Government and private sector’s attention to the policy would sustain national integration, wholesome value templates and productive engagements.

Babangida said that he established the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) and several other cultural agencies during his regime to grow and develop culture.
“That was to underscore the primacy of cultures in the sustenance of national livelihoods as well as the productive industries in our local societies and economies.
He said that he identified with NICO in hosting the SONTA conference because of his deep appreciation of the importance of culture in national development which was part of NICO’s mandate.
“It is gratifying and heart-warming that the main focus of this conference is Nollywood, which is ranked the third largest in the world,’’ he posited.

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