Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, says Nollywood contributes 2.3 percent to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) with over 2,500 movies produced annually.
Gbajabiamila spoke on Friday at a two-day leadership master class training for Nollywood actors organised by Ndudi Elumelu, the minority leader of the house, in Abuja.
He said it was expedient to acknowledge and celebrate Nollywood actors and actresses as well as others who make up the country’s entertainment industry.
The speaker also said that the onus now rests on the government and private stakeholders to support the industry for it to grow beyond what it is now.
“With adequate investment, a supportive regulatory environment, better training and capacity development, Nollywood will grow beyond our present dream and surpass our highest ambitions,” he said.
“It falls on all of us in government, the private sector and across the society to identify ways we can help the industry reach the heights and we all know is possible.”
He said that beyond the questions of economics and profit, the industry has major roles to play in influencing the 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, they are impacted by the roles you play, the stories you tell and the realities you explore in your movies,” he said.
“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.”
Ndudi Elumelu, in his remark, said the training, was a much-needed strategic multi-sectoral effort to guarantee the desired rebound and repositioning of the movie industry in Nigeria.
“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,” Elumelu said.
On his part, Emeka Rollas, national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), said that knowledge was essential to leadership development and a sustainable society.
“We need leadership sustainability in the industry through training and retraining to enable us grows the business to keep meeting global demand,” he said.
“The training will enhance our management skill, strategic plan, thought process, new adaptations, and risk management among others.”
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