Meet Nollywood Stars | 2 October 2010 23:15 CET

Nigeria @ 50 What we want from government–Nollywood stars and stakeholders

By Azuh Amatus
Chidi Mokeme

Chidi Mokeme

Segun Arinze, national president, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN).
“I want government to create an enabling environment for Nollywood to thrive, make laws to protect the industry and establish the much-talked MOPICON, to help regulate the industry. They should also help in the fight against piracy by creating a strong and formidable enforcement agency.”

Paul Obazele, national president, Association of Movie Producers (AMP).
“The government should help us fight piracy and create a film fund and above all, reduce interest rates for filmmakers. They should also tap heavily into the enormous potentials inherent in Nollywood by investing heavily and ensuring that we have an enabling environment to operate in.”

Zik Zulu-Okafor, ace filmmaker and former national president, (AMP).
“Let the government speed up the process of actualizing the Motion Pictures Council of Nigeria (MOPICON), to regulate the industry and ensure best practices. It should also create some incentives to inspire and encourage private sector investment in movie theatres, an initiative that will turn Nollywood into a truly multi billion Naira industry and create unprecedented employment opportunities for thousands, if not millions of our jobless youths.”

Okey Ogunjiofor, foremost filmmaker, producer, Living in Bondage.
“The first thing will be co-production agreements with frontline filmmaking nations like US, India, Hong Kong and the EEC. Such bilateral treaties will open our local industry to huge international funding, global distribution networks and create a platform for skill and technological transfer to our practitioners towards perfect pictures with global sounds.

Secondly, the government must integrate motion picture practice as part of her blueprint towards national development, because Nollywood remains till date, the number one indigenous global brand and the second employer of labour outside the civil service. Thirdly, government must recognize and encourage the advancement of our industry through the support of existing structures like, film festivals, awards and lectures, all meant to improve the practice. Lastly, government must create an enabling environment for us through tax rebates and relaxation of relevant laws that will encourage a burst in local productions.”

Emem Isong, leading female film producer.
“I want our government to put more efforts in combating piracy. Money should also be put into the industry for an even and proper development.”

Okey Bakassi, pioneer top actor/comedian.
“Government should have an office and special adviser on Nollywood matters, in order to articulate and find solutions to Nollywood problems.”

Emeka Ossai, pioneer actor/producer.
“Like I've always advocated, I'll want the government to fully implement laws, mostly, anti piracy ones that will protect intellectual property. So that we can fully exploit our products, plough back proceeds and access institutional facilities. This will lead to a positive explosion of activities in Nollywood.”

Lilian Bach, top actress.
“Government should invest heavily in Nollywood. Nollywood since inception has continually promoted and projected our image positively to the rest of the world. It's a great industry that has made Nigeria known globally, so government should pay back by protecting and creating enabling environment for all serious practitioners and stakeholders to operate in.”

Ralph Nwadike, ace filmmaker.
“We want government to invest in Nollywood, because Nollywood has invested so much in government. With our own movies, sweat, time and energy, we've gone all over the world selling Nigeria to the world via Nollywood. I think this is the right time, the Nigeria government sincerely invests in Nollywood.”

Sola Fosudo, veteran actor, lecturer.
“There are so many associations in Nollywood, they should first and foremost come together as one and that is when the government will begin to take them serious and think of what to do for the industry.”

Oby Edozieh, actress, producer.
“I want government to invest and support the growth of Nollywood by creating the enabling environment for us to thrive. Piracy is killing the industry; they should help us battle it headlong.”

Tony Umez, top actor.
“For me, piracy is killing the industry, so government should put strong machinery in motion to help us battle piracy and pirates.”

Chidi Mokeme, top actor.
“We need government to provide us with an enabling environment that is devoid of their usual bureaucracy and red-tapism. Enough of the rhetorics, they should act fast and now, because piracy is tearing the creative industry apart.”

Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, producer, CEO, AMAA.
“Government should recognize the amazing potential of Nollywood and the entire creative industries to positively rebrand Nigeria and economically impact on the country's economy.”

Alex Lopez, top actress.
“Government should stop playing lip service and support us with full force, especially in the area of fighting piracy.”

African China, musician, actor.
“Kill piracy now!”

Tricia Eseigbe-Kerry, actress, TV presenter.
“Nollywood has done great for this nation, now that we are celebrating Nigeria at 50, I think it's the best time for the nation to reciprocate by investing heavily in the industry, especially by creating the enabling environment and battling piracy for us.”

Emem Isong
Paul Obazele
Segun Arinze
Zik Zulu-Okafor
Okey Bakassi
Emeka Ossai
Lilian Bach
Sola Fosudo
Oby Edozieh,
Peace Anyiam-Osigwe
Alex Lopez
African China
Tricia Eseigbe-Kerry

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