The house of representatives has urged the ministry of information and culture to put measures in place to protect the indigenous language film sector from extraneous influences.

The house also urged the ministry to ensure that the indigenous film sector is protected as it will promote rural dwelling and income since the films are shot in villages.

The resolution of the house followed a motion sponsored by Oladipupo Adebutu, a lawmaker from Ogun state.

While moving the motion on Tuesday, Adebutu said that the Nigerian film industry has thus far contributed $3.3 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The lawmaker said that indigenous content has promoted the country’s cultural heritage and diversity which has led to a high demand for Nigeria’s films in Africa, Europe and the Americas.

“The sector employs over one million people, directly and indirectly, promotes and drives local and regional tourism as well as attracting interests in the rural areas and cities, such that as far back as 2008, the industry had consistently produced 2000 titles every year in Nigeria’s three major languages,” he said.

“As a consequence of its indigenous content, it serves as a channel to promote our rich cultural heritage, diversity and nuances; recreates socio-political storylines/cultural practices that are relevant to everyday situations and this high level of productivity has birthed a pool of creative talents and broad skills base, while creating high demand for Nigeria’s films in Africa, Europe and the Americas.

“During the last festival of indigenous African language films held in Akure, Ondo state, it was concluded that Nigeria’s motion picture industry will give our indigenous languages a boost by way of preserving our rich cultural and linguistic diversity thereby saving them from extinction.

“The importance of entertainment industry to the economy on its export of services platform is evident in government’s $200million entertainment industry fund also known as the Activating Creativity and Technology in Nollywood (Project ACT) which was created as a cash grant for the development of creative arts in Nigeria.”

He said that the trend of foreign language films being re-voiced into Nigerian languages, especially Yoruba and Hausa, poses a danger for the country’s cultural values and heritage.

“Nigeria should not overlook the importance of its indigenous languages as a unifying factor for mobility and inter-cultural understanding, more so as this preserves our native rural harmony,” he said.

The house adopted the motion after it was put to a voice vote by Yakubu Dogara, the speaker.



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