Behind the scene | 17 July 2008 22:18 CET

House promises to support Nollywood

By By David Ajiboye

At last, movie productions in Nigeria are set for greater heights as the House of Representatives has promised to support the movie industry by enacting laws that will aid the growth of the industry and motivate professionals in the industry.

The promise was made recently when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Information and National Orientation, led by its chairman, Honourable Dino Melaye, visited the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Jos, and promised to offer legislative assistance that will enable the NFC continue to reposition itself to provide policy direction for the sustainable promotion and development of the Nigerian motion picture industry.

During the visit which purpose was to inspect facilities and structures at the NFC's headquarters, the National Film Institute and ongoing projects at the permanent site of the corporation at Lamingo, the lawmakers also promised to address all matters relating to the proposed amendments to the NFC's Act and that of the Motion Picture Practitioners Council (MOPICON) promptly when they are presented to the House.

Comprising Honourables Adah Paul Andeshi, Bashir O. Bolarinwa, Segun Akinloye and Eluemunoh Chinedu Godswill, the committee, on arrival held a closed door meeting with senior management staff of the NFC before embarking on an on-the-spot assessment of facilities and projects which included the on going construction work on the National Film Video & Sound Archives at Lamingo, the photo laboratory complex, the café/bookshop/canteen (both completed and ready for commissioning), the 300 seat terrace auditorium and sound stage, all at the National Film Institute, Jos.

At the National Film Institute, the honourables participated in an ongoing lectere where they charged students to pay attention to theirs studies and shun acts that could tarnish the reputation of the Film Institute and the nation. Addressing journalists at the end of the tour, Honourable Melaye, on behalf of other members, expressed satisfaction with the vision and passion of the Afolabi Adesanya led management of the NFC to turn things around at the corporation and within the Nigerian motion picture industry.

He said that members were satisfied with on going and completed projects, and also the location of the permanent site for the corporation, which will provide a conducive environment not only for administrative functions, but will also serve as an ideal location for film production and other auxiliary activities that goes with the motion picture business.

Honourable Melaye said that the time for government to give adequate attention to the motion picture industry in Nigeria using the NFC as a pivot was now. He added that it was regrettable that an agency like the NFC, which plays significant and leading roles in the film industry in Nigeria is highly and “grossly under funded” by the government. This, he said was a far cry from what is global best practice.

He, however, assured that the committee will through legislative provisions, change the situation. This, he maintained, would be to immediately initiate actions to request the Federal Government to refund to the NFC, monies meant for capital projects that are ongoing.

The Nigerian motion picture industry, Honourable Melaye noted, has recorded some successes but still requires improvement of its content and distribution network in order to be at par with what obtains globally. The industry, he said, must also be standardized due to constant changes in the science and technology of film production. He called on film makers to be resourceful.

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