By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has been described as a visionary and revolutionary Lawmaker over his initiative to empower youths of his Senatorial district through Cinematography by the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and the Nigerian Film Institute (NFI).
NFC’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe and NFI’s Rector Prof.Methuselah Jeremiah on Monday made the comments during the now concluded 3 week intensive training film held for Abia North youths in the entire five local government areas of the zone.
Maduekwe while addressing Kalu who attended the training at Ohafia lauded Kalu’s idea to facilitate the training to expose youths to opportunities in film making and content creation to earn living. The MD told his constituents to be grateful to Kalu, the Senate Chief Whip saying that the filmmaking industry is currently a money spinner.
The CEO urged the participants to take advantage of the practical lessons learnt during the training; “This is part of Senator Kalu’s Constituency project and we must commend him from his ingenuity to see that youths can also earn a living through film making. Today the film industry is a money spinner and Senator Kalu has facilitated this training to give the youths the opportunity to tap from the sector.
NFI’S Rector Prof.Methuselah who led a team of lectures from the institute to Abia-North said that training has been hugely impactful to the youthful participants. He described Kalu as visionary to have seen the opportunities abound in the Cinematography which will be beneficial to youths of his constituents.
He said; “This initiative shows that Senator Kalu is a visionary parliamentarian who sees through what others don’t. The training has been highly impactful and the participants have shown huge interest while many have indicated interest to come for further studies at the institute in Jos. Empowering an individual in Film making is also Empowering 20 others behind such a person.
NFC’s director of Public Affairs,Brian Etuk said the training was provided by the state of the Art Audio Visual mobile film school equipped with modern facilities to teach students practical lessons. Brian disclosed that in addition to film making techniques the participants were also taught how to monetise their contents using their mobile phones.
Brian lauded the enthusiasm displayed by Kalu’s constituents;
“Since the launch of this training we have come a long way, the participants have also shown huge enthusiasm to acquire more knowledge. The mobile Audio Visual film school was conceived by Dr. Chidia Maduekwe to take film training to the communities because we know that not all can afford to travel down to jos to study. During this training they were taught on how to make and monetise their creative videos using their mobile phones.
Legislative Aide to Kalu,Barrister Victor Ettie who spoke on behalf of the students conveyed their gratitude to the Abia-North Senator for availing them such innovative empowerment and for also Empowering them with Laptops, Cameras, stationeries and start up funds. According to him, empowerment is a drift from the norm of “stomach infrastructure” pledging to maximise the training given to them. On his re-election Victor re-echohed the resolution of the youths to vote massively in his favour .
In Acknowledgement Senator Kalu said that the training was conceived out of his passion for youths. Kalu also urged them to be thankful to his party the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari for making the training fruitful. Kalu also commended NFC’S Chdia Maduekwe for his accountability in making judicious use of the funds released for the training.
The Senate Chief Whip spoke of his achievements both as Senator and Governor promising to expand the exercise after reelection;
“This training was made possible through the magnanimity of President Muhammadu Buhari under the platform of our party the APC. The advancement of our youths is so dear to me this is why in addition to my infrastructural and Agricultural projects, there was an important need to empower youths with ICT through filmmaking techniques. It’s the first of its kind in Abia North and even Abia and its continuous process, when I return to the Senate we will expand the programme to accommodate more beneficiaries.
“The Senate is not a place for amateurs, it’s meant for people with wealth of experience in Governance and influence. Being a former member of the House of Representatives, two time Governor , principal officer of the Senate and a successful business man I am most qualified. As a Senator you must possess a lot of influence to ask Ministers and other top Federal executives to accede to the needs of your people and this is what I have been able to do in the last three years.
“On three occasions I was awarded Best Senator in Constituency development projects by the Senate press corps. As Governor I built the Elu- Ebem – Okonu – Amagwu Road axis , Olokoro – Ogbor Hill roads in Aba which were abandoned after the civil war. Lomara – Umuchukwu- Amawbia – Ohambere to Azummiri were all roads I built. The new Umuahia Township was built by me and I constructed all their roads which are still in use till today. If these infrastructures were sustained by building more through my successors Abia would have been better.
“Currently Ohafia has 12 roads being built simultaneously, we’ve installed a water borehole at Amaekpu, and provided textbooks for students in all science subjects. The era of giving constituents rice and beans or cash is over , we must do projects that will improve their economic capacity. This is why we are empowering you with more ways to make money. We must shun greed by both the followers and the leaders for our country to get better.
“Dr. Chidia Maduekwe must be commended for his honesty and accountability for ensuring that the funds earmarked for this empowerment was properly used, some would misappropriated it and done something shody to cover up. His team from the NFC has also done very well.