Gbajabiamila…industry contributes 2.3% GDP-Elumelu…as Evernight Diagnostics commends Nigerian entertainers, calls for supportBy Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila enjoined the Nigerian movie industry otherwise called Nollywood to use the medium to tell the Nigerian stories.
The Speaker said that such stories will inspire goodness, motivate thoughtful acts, encourage fraternity, and uplift the human condition.
The was as the minority leader of the House, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu also said that the entertainment industry contributed 2.3% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP in 2016.
Similarly, Evernight Diagnostics and Laboratories Limited also commended the industry for its contribution to the economy of Nigeria.
The charges and the commendations were contained in the speeches by the leaders rendered at the opening of a two-day leadership master-class training for Nollywood actors at the GOTNI Leadership Centre in Abuja on Friday.
The event attracted who is who in the Nollywood amongst whom were Kanayo O. Kanayo, Kenneth Okonkwo and Bob Manual Udokwu.
Speaking at the event, Gbajabiamila said: “Beyond the questions of economics and profit, there is the issue of the critical role of Nollywood in influencing culture, defining national character, and promoting national identity. As actors and entertainers, you directly exert tremendous influence on the lives of hundreds of millions of Nigerians, who are impacted by the roles you play, the stories you tell and the realities you explore in your movies.
“This is power. And with power comes a responsibility to tell stories that inspire goodness, motivate thoughtful acts, encourage fraternity, and uplift the human condition. You also have a responsibility to tell the best stories of our beloved country. I do not propose to turn you into cheerleaders for a Nigeria that does not exist. But the stories of men and women thriving through adversity and innovating for prosperity needs to be told, and it falls to you to tell those stories.
“I hold in my heart a fundamental belief that our highest aspirations for Nigeria can only be achieved by the combined effort of patriots working together to make real the vision of a prosperous and peaceful country. You have shown through your dogged pursuit of success that you represent the best of the Nigerian spirit. I call on you now to rise to the higher calling and join in the joint task of building a nation we will always be proud of.”
Gbajabiamila said that the 9th House of Representatives was ready to develop and advance practical, proposals to advance the cause of the entertainment industry and ensure that the industry continues to contribute to the socio-economic advancement of Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, said Nigerian films must deliberately promote unity as a people.
“I know this is a tall order given the social, religious, political and ethnic-based challenges we face as a nation today. However, with the determination and zeal I see in this hall, I have no doubt in my mind that we will achieve these lofty goals,” he said.
Elumelu said with the training, the much needed strategic multi-sectoral effort to guarantee the desired rebound and repositioning of the movie industry in Nigeria, though long overdue, has begun.
He however regretted the decline in the 2.3% contribution of the industry to the nation’s GDP and called for a concerted effort to grow the figure.
“I commend the organizers of this training for their insight and vision to retool the drivers of our movie industry not only to efficiently play their roles of effectual propagation and promotion of our rich national heritage, ideologies and values but also to revamp the sector as an economic hub in our nation and the West African Sub-region.
“Though there has been a serious decline from the 2.3% GDP contribution recorded in reports released in 2016, to 0.27 in the first quarter of 2019, I believe that with concerted effort and cross-fertilization of ideas in training such as this, the industry will surely rebound.
“Furthermore, the movie industry is a critical hub of our national unity. Nigerians are passionate about the movies you produce as it sees their personal and shared challenges, struggles, anxieties, aspirations and achievements in the lives of the characters you aptly portray.
“In the same vein, our movie industry, more than any other social platform, remains critical in the moulding of character and modelling the trajectory of social preferences and predilections, especially among our youths, women and children,” he said.
In their own remarks, the National President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ejezie Emeka Rollas, called on the Federal and State Governments, as well as high net worth individuals, to invest in the Nigerian movie industry to enable practitioners to tap into the unlimited opportunities available.
In a statement signed by Mr Everest Okpara, the Managing Director of MD of Evernight Diagnostic and Laboratory Services Ltd, a partner to GOTNI on leadership, the organization also called on Nigerians to invest in Hollywood.
“Evernight Diagnostics believes in leadership to inspire change for impact and this is why we have chosen to support the Actors Guild of Nigeria.
“We commend their huge contribution to the entertainment industry within and beyond the shores of Nigeria and we implore and encourage everyone else who can support the Actors Guild of Nigeria to kindly indulge.
“We encourage them to continue to lead healthy lifestyles individually and collectively even as they strive hard to make sure Nigeria is continuously, globally recognized”, the statement stated.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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