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President Goodluck Johnathon Gives $200 Million To Nollywood - Celebrities - Nairaland

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President Goodluck Johnathon Gives $200 Million To Nollywood by anonymous6(f): 3:07pm On Aug 19, 2011
[b]"Lagos — The last has not been heard of the controversial $200million stimulation package given by President Goodluck Jonathan to the entertainment industry, during the recently held 30th Anniversary of Silverbird Entertainment in Lagos. When Dr. Jonathan was making the pronouncement, it did not occur to him that his kind gesture towards the industry might soon become the source of fresh crisis in the already troubled Nigerian movie industry.

In a recent press conference at the Whitehouse in Lagos, the Emeka Ike faction of the Actor's Guild of Nigeria (AGN) asked the president to spell how the money would be utilised to prevent some bad eggs in the industry from hijacking it.

The press conference marked the first time any of the factions came out to talk on the controversy the money has created in the industry. Personalities like an ace producer, Madu C. Chikwendu, Alex Enyeogho, the chairman of Association of Core Nollywood Producers (ANCOP), prolific actor and self-acclaimed president of AGN, Emeka Ike, London-based entertainment lawyer, Ade Ajanaku, Oke Ogunjiofor of VideoSonic Studio and many others were present at the press briefing.

Though they admitted that the money was not meant for the movie industry alone, the stakeholders, however, agreed it was right for them to make a case for their own section which is the Nollywood. The team took their time to list the various segments in Nollywood and insisted that the bodies should be represented in the sharing of the money. The segments include actors, producers, cinematographers, editors, theater practitioners, directors, scriptwriters, makeup artistes, costumiers, marketers, among others.

Alex Enyeogho, who was the first speak made it crystally clear that Nollywood has some enemies within it, who are bent on usurping the efforts of the majority who truly have the interest of the industry at heart.

"These forces that have ensured that the industry remained in perpetual dilemma have become the ultimate beneficiaries of our problem.

They use their contacts with the government to appropriate to themselves resources that should have been channeled to the fundamental growth of the industry. Their connections give them edge over those with genuine interest. It also positions them as representatives of the industry before the government and foreign investors, thereby denying the industry its rightful leaders," Enyeogho lamented.

He continued: "As major stakeholders in the industry, we believe there is no better time than now, especially as these elements are now lobbying Mr. President to hand over to them, the $200 million with which he has promised to support the industry."

The stakeholders declared that in as much as Mr. Ben Bruce of Silverbird Entertainment was the catalyst for the money, the president's support was long overdue. Though they thanked the president for his kind gesture towards the industry, they however, informed Dr. Jonathan that they have not appointed anybody to represent the industry when it comes to the appropriation of money or any major project that concerns Nollywood.

Hence, Emeka Ike declared: "As the bonafide president of the Actor's Guild of Nigeria, on behalf of the industry, I am saying that we have not appointed anybody not even Segun Arinze, who is currently parading himself as the guild's president to represent it. Also, the likes of Paul Obasele of the so-called AMP, and other self-styled organisations like COGAN, COSON and what have you, cannot represent us in the disbursement of the money promised the industry by Mr. President."

Emeka Ike also observed that in recent times, the various associations and bodies that make up the Nollywood have witnessed series of crises leading to major breakups, unethical behaviours and controversies in the industry. These have affected the growth and unity required to take the industry to the next level.

Ike pointed out that a reform is needed in the industry before any meaningful project could be carried out or any money could be appropriately utilised in the industry.

While the restructuring will be on-going, however, the stakeholders advised Mr. President to transfer the $200 Million and other intervention funds from World Bank and the rest into an account which will be called the Entertainment Endowment Fund (EE FUND). When the industry has been properly structured, the funds can be released along priority lines. According to them, for example, there is need to improve capacity of associations and individuals in the industry to come up with quality products. They submitted that the funds be put into areas like training, youth development, acquisition of high tech equipment for the industry, building structures across the 36 states so as to enlarge the industry and get more youths gainfully employed, and intensify the fight against piracy.

Ace producer, Madu C. Chikwendu, also highlighted the need for the president to realise that Nollywood is an industry and not a private entity owned by some individuals who are close to him. Hence, there is the need to channel the much-celebrated money to the right hands through legalised structures in the industry. Chikwendu revealed that there are over 36 associations in Nollywood alone and every one must share from the 'cake' fairly.

One of the conveners of the conference, Alex Enyeogho corroborated Chikwuendu's claim by stating that, "For example, We have more than one body representing producers and more than one body representing the marketers, and a whole lot of mess like that." Alex, however, warned that should President Jonathan get it wrong in the proper way of channeling the money, a fresh crisis like never witnessed before in the industry might erupt which many force all aggrieved parties to take to the streets."[/b]

President Goodluck Johnathon

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