Ruggedman, Nigerian rapper and music producer, has joined the league of celebrities taking a stand against the federal government’s plan to ban shooting of music videos abroad.
The CEO of Twentieth September Wears, in an open letter to Lai Mohammed, minister of culture and tourism, condemned the proposed plan.
“It is wrong to try to bully your way into the Nigerian entertainment industry you did nothing to help build. It is absurd to say you will ban entertainers from shooting music videos or movies abroad. Your reason being that we go there to enrich their economy with Nigeria’s money,” the rapper wrote in an open letter to the minister.
“If you want entertainers to stop going abroad to shoot music videos and movies, then government officials should stop going abroad for hospitals, vacations and schools. We can use all those billions spent in funding foreign economies to equip our schools, hospitals and other parastatals.
“They are our leaders and so have to lead by example. Trying to ban private owned businesses (entertainers) from doing part of their business abroad will go against the democracy your party preaches.”
Ruggedybaba, as he is known to his fans, listed some of the things the federal government should focus on instead of the proposed ban.
“First of all, shelve the talk of banning entertainers working abroad. It is not what the creative industry needs from the government and it is a terrible look for you. Nobody likes a bully.
“No structure means no alternative: Since we do not have a proper structure yet, put a hold on your $1m venture capital for the creative industry.”
He said the government should also focus its attention on making television and radio stations pay royalties to artistes.
“Radio and television stations have amassed billions of Nigeria from using Nigerian artists hard work without paying the artistes. This is where you can come in and set up a policy that will make sure they start paying artists whose work they use.
“They already make a lot of money from adverts placed by companies.
“Telcos sell our songs/ringtones and take 70% while the owner of the work gets to share 30% with a content provider. If you are to ban anybody, it is the telcos who do this.”
He urged that the federal government help curb piracy and also help build “a much-needed structure” in the creative industry.
“Let’s work together to further grow and capitalize on a Nigerian creative industry that has managed to boom without any government policy,” he wrote.
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