Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu in Abuja
House of Representatives has said it would partner with the Nigerian film industry to make it perform optimally and boost government’s revenue.
House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said this when he received a delegation of the Movie Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN) in his office in Abuja on Monday evening.
The speaker urged those packaging movies in the country to promote more of Nigeria’s culture.
Describing the Nigerian film industry, popularly known as Nollywood, as a very critical industry, Gbajabiamila said he has been fascinated and impressed by the output of the industry over the years.
“Nigerian film industry has come a long way and that all well-meaning Nigerians, especially governments at all levels, should support it for the betterment of the country. Yours is an important industry. Your industry has a way of communicating our culture to the outside world. So, you’re very critical to the country.
“It’s in our interest to support and partner with you to make things work better. Ours is to partner with you to make sure that you get the best,” the speaker said.
Gbajabiamila noted that one of the challenges bedevilling the Nigerian film industry is piracy, adding that in working with the industry, they would have to make legislation that would make them work better.
“It’s only in Nigeria that you see people hawk movies on the streets. The country is losing revenue as a result of that. I don’t think you guys have tapped enough into the potential of the tourism industry.
“There’s no country in the world that has the kind of diversity that we have. As much as you’ve been doing well, there’s enough room to do better. You guys need to diversify,” he said.
The speaker assured the DGN delegation that he would talk to the chairman of the House Committee on Tourism to get in touch with relevant government agencies to allow movie producers to use their facilities whenever there was such need, as requested by the delegation.
Earlier, the president of the guild, Fred Amata, said the delegates were in the speaker’s office to solicit his support and presence during their forthcoming 20th anniversary, which would involve a novelty match with the speaker’s team.
“There are numerous challenges in the movie industry. It’s in need of structure. We know you’re aware of this. We’re here not just because of the celebration but what we can achieve using the celebration,” he said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, called on the movie producers to portray Nigeria’s security agencies in good light at this time of security challenges.
“Nigeria is facing security challenges, and we all need to be on board to be able to portray our armed forces in a good light. Your efforts in portraying them in good light will add value to what you’re doing,” he said.