Artistes in the country, under the umbrella of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), have decried the unstructured state of entertainment industry in Nigeria.
The AGN noted that though the entertainment industry was founded by executives and producers, but it is an industry where 70 per cent are performers and creative people.
Speaking at a conference, the President of the AGN, Mr. Emeka Ike, stated that “deliberate abandonment of artists is a suicide attempt for the industry. You only market and produce. The artiste is the content in the product without which it gives a totally different recipe.”
To this end, he said the association viewed AGN’s removal from the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria (MOPICON) bill project as a direct plot to sideline the 70 per cent content and right owners in the industry from being a part of decision making where enforceable issues are brought to base.
According to him, such an action will eventually lead to handing the industry “to our transducers who serve as vendors for some particular foreign multinational companies, who use our products with impunity while impoverishing, oppressing, owing, scandalizing and writing the ‘old Nollywood off’ with a hash tag brand raising their own artistes, producers etc., and investing on just these few mentors of the huge industry and trampling on their human rights Issues.”
Ike said, “Sign a contract or not, there are international charters that Nigeria, as a nation is a signatory to, which protests these trampled rights. The UNESCO Charter on Entertainment, the BENE convention and several other laws exist to the favour of the Nigerian artistes. We are deliberately depriving the magician of the magic while refocusing elsewhere; maybe on another land with residues of a few powerful local studios in highbrow areas of Nigeria; Nollywood will be redefined to fit only the highest bidders.
“That’s the matter for the AGN, PMAN, ANTP, NANTAP, NMVMPA, ANCORP and every structure that should be house entertainment in Nigeria. Our crises are deliberate and man-made; designed to only suit the middleman businessman and their foreign business partners. It’s a shame that the contract producers are made to sign in this country is far more different from that signed all over the world. Even around in other Africa countries.
The AGN then posed some questions: “Who designed the subliming and marginalisation of Nigerian artistes and where has all that huge funds been going? We hear of Google paying NIMBS Banks for the intellectual property owners and other crafts. How much could it have accrued to since the advent of the internet system?
“We need to reorganise the system to run on defined templates that protects everybody. COSON is blazing the trail for the music artistes. We have designed ours to fit every international practice principled. We are working on our biometric ID card. These people will not want to hear of it. Yet, Nigerian people will make them listen to us.
He concluded by calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene to ensure that millions of Nigerian artistes will be paid the royalties they deserve.
“This might pave way to the massive absorption and employment opportunities discussed during your (Buhari’s) election campaign. The capital flight is too much and must be stopped,” the actor said.