Entertainers have continued to express their expectations from the President Mohammadu Buhari administration, even as they clamour for support to better position the industry. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM writes.
When it was announced that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan had taken over the mantle of leadership from the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, there ensued a barrage of mixed reactions from the general public, including entertainment industry practitioners who felt he might ignore the sector.
However, after some years, it was discovered that the president was indeed a lover of the arts as he was host to lots of entertainment-centric events and even bestowed prestigious national honours on several entertainment personalities during his administration.
Indeed, during his time, the entertainment industry boomed and received deserved attention as many young talents (musicians, actors, and filmmakers) found their way to success.
In 2013, Nollywood was rated as the third most valuable film industry in the world after generating a total revenue of N1.72 trillion (US$10 billion) in 2013 alone, placing it behind India and the United States.
The Nigerian film industry was worth N853.9 billion (US$5.1 billion) as at 2014 and produces hundreds of home videos and films per annum. Nigerian cinema is Africa’s largest movie industry in terms of value and the number of movies produced per year. Although Nigerian films have been produced since the 1960s, the rise of affordable digital filming and editing technologies has stimulated the country’s film and video industry.
Celebrities were seen flocking around the villa with the aim of getting appointments or contracts and, as it would happen, they got what they wanted – an entertainment fund for Nigerians to provide a level playing ground for all.
The former president, Goodluck Jonathan, doled out huge sums of money to the industry, though it has been alleged that the funds were cornered by a handful of top executives who made it difficult to access.
The Nigerian entertainment industry, which boasts of billions of dollars today, is a force to be reckoned, and one that every entertainer is proud of.
Below are some comments on the previous administration as well as the newly inaugurated one, from known celebrities in Nollywood, music, fashion and others.
Uche Elendu- Nollywood
As President Goodluck Jonathan hands over to General Muhammadu Buhari I hope and pray for the best, not for the entertainment industry alone, but for Nigeria as a whole…President Jonathan contributed immensely to the growth of the entertainment industry and he encouraged and showed us great support not for personal reasons, but for the fact that as a president, he realised that the entertainment industry contributes to the nation’s economy in terms of generating revenue and also creating job opportunities for both young and old.
Nollywood has also gained recognition for Nigeria, rating 3rd in the world, behind Bollywood (India) and Hollywood (USA). I appreciate the outgoing president for his support and I believe our incoming president will take it up from there, because I see him as a man of his word who is out to bring positive change to every sector in Nigeria.
I implore President Mohammadu Buhari to give more attention to the entertainment industry, because art leads life and our films reflect our society. I would plead that he assists us in fighting piracy and he makes available grants to help finance our movies. We also need film institutes and structures to improve the industry and get more manpower to generate more revenue for our country; we also need more film distribution channels. God bless our President, God bless Nigeria.
Nannio- UK based Artiste
I think a lot of people fear Buhari may not give the entertainment industry the support GEJ provided. I personally believe in Buhari and I feel he wants to move us forward. My personal question to the new president is: what adequate steps are being taken and what measures will be put in place to ensure that Nigerian artistes make money off their music? Piracy is killing the industry and robbing the Nigerian economy of millions, if not billions. Do we have adequate intellectual property laws that will protect us as artistes and allow us make money off our creations while at the same time contributing to the growth of our economy? The issue of copyright of music and artistes’ publishing is very important for Nigerian artistes. Will the Buhari administration look into this as part of its economic growth development for Nigeria?
Ogyny aka Da Chief Rocka
I’m sorry to say this: I didn’t see or receive any support from the outgoing administration as an artiste it didn’t get to me. So I’m indifferent! As for what I want the incoming presido to do, it would be nice if the federal government can support the industry like they do in places like America, England and other countries.
First, let them help us with this piracy issue and also allocate a good part of the budget to the entertainment industry and they should also make sure that money gets to right people. They can also build a film village-a proper Nollywood where world class movies can be shot.
This administration will not be like that of GEJ-that’s for sure. I don’t think there ever will be any government that would do what Goodluck Jonathan did for the entertainment industry in Nigeria. But, I expect Buhari to carry us along anyways, because trust me, our industry is now the 2nd largest employer of labour (private wise), aside from the oil industry. So, he has no choice than to work with the industry what has raked in billions of dollars.