FG gives Nollywood N3bn grant
The Federal Government has given the Nigerian film industry, also known as Nollywood, a grant of N3 billion to boost the quality of its production.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who announced this Saturday night at a dinner to mark Nollywood’s 20th anniversary at the State House, Marina, Lagos, acknowledged the important roles Nollywood has continued to play in promoting the brand image of Nigeria both within and outside the continent.
“There are three endeavours that unite Nigerians: sports, music and movies,” he said.
The grant is to be supervised by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Edem Duke, Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation.
The grant tagged, ‘Project Nollywood’, will be commissioned in the first week of April.
Meanwhile, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has donated the sum of N50 million to the industry as the president’s award for creativity.
Speaking at the event, Amaka Igwe, a film producer, said key issues facing the movie industry were that of piracy and infrastructure which the president promised to look into.
Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, chief executive officer, African Movie Academy Awards, said the grant is a welcome development as the previous loan to the industry was largely inaccessible to film makers.
“The industry welcomes it,” she said “and will encourage film makers to do more quality films. Most film makers don’t have bankable proposals and collateral. Hence this grant will not require collateral but it will be given based on the quality of works they have done in the past and what they want to use the grant for.”
It would be recalled that in 2010, the government set aside $200 million intervention fund which was administered by NEXIM Bank. It was part of the government’s transformation agenda to promote Nollywood.
“It is a part of the president’s key economic priorities in refocusing the Nigerian economy”, Robert Orya, managing director, NEXIM Bank, had said.
Nigeria is Africa’s most prolific film producer with a consistent production of over 2,400 films yearly in the past three years. The industry produced 2,408, 2,514 and 2,621 films in 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Provisional data in 2011 from the Nigerian Films and Videos Censors Board (NFVCB) showed that 1,743 and 1,234 movies were, respectively, registered and approved in 2011.
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