Bababjide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, has inaugurated a nine-member committee to drive creativity in the entertainment and tourism sector.
NAN reports that at the inauguration, which took place at Lagos House, Marina, on Wednesday, Sanwo-Olu said the initiative would jump-start the transformation of the entertainment and tourism sector.
According to governor, the nine-member committee on film production empowerment is to fund youth creativity and entertainment activities.
Richard Mofe-Damijo, veteran actor and filmmaker better known as RMD, is the chairman of the nine-member committee.
Other members are Tunde Kelani; Mo Abudu, Kunle Afolayan and Peace Anyim-Osigwe.
The government officials in the committee include Adebukola Agbaminoja, Ferdinand Tinubu, Taju Olajumoke and Funke Avoseh (who is the secretary).
The committee’s inauguration comes months after the governor set aside N1 billion seed capital to unlock the potential in hospitality and tourism businesses.
Sanwo-Olu said aside the N1 billion set aside for hospitality industry, the scheme is specifically targeted at the movie industry, which is known all over the world.
“This is a signpost of all pockets of intervention we have created for development of creativity and tourism sector,” he said.
“This is with the belief that we can further raise the status of our creative output and commercialise the returns to a level it can compete with Hollywood and Bollywood.
”We realised most of our film production experts and directors face a lot of funding impediments.
“We are intervening to close this gap and bring credible veterans who have knowledge and have demonstrated capacity in the industry to drive this project.
“That is why we carefully selected five key practitioners in the industry to lead.
“The committee will be supported by four government officials to limit bureaucracy for the committee to achieve its objectives.”
Sanwo-Olu said the committee had been given the authority to disburse the support grants to movie producers who had fresh ideas and those whose stories were yet to be completed.
He charged the committee to work out its engagement modalities and administrative responsibility of selecting the beneficiaries of the scheme.
“As we roll out this scheme, we want to be able to help the industry around job creation and bring youths out of unemployment, using the creative industry,” he added.
“We also want to create entrepreneurs that will use their creativity to enhance the market shares of the sector.
“We want to support industry practitioners to raise capacity, support development of local content and discourage the action of taking proceeds from the industry out of the country, thereby denying local practitioners the benefits of their talents.
“We will not restrict your (committee’s) ability; we will give you leeway to do your job.”
The governor said the intervention would galvanise the private sector into committing more funding to the industry for accelerated growth.
He noted that the scheme would unlock the potential of the Lagos coastline and turn it into a destination of choice in African tourism.
On her part, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the commissioner for Tourism, said the committee members would set the conditions for accessing this fund and determine eligibility of applicants.
She explained that they would decide on the amount that could be given to an individual applicant or group at a particular time.
”This intervention will make Lagos state to continue to retain its position as the hub of film making in Nigeria and as a city for the creative minds,” Akinbile-Yussuf said.
Also speaking, RMD said: “We don’t have any excuse not to perform in this assignment. We will do everything in our capacity to ensure that result which the governor has envisioned comes to reality.”
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