By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Abuja – The Federal Government is to finalise work on the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria (MOPICON) Bill in order to create proper regulatory environment for the sub-sector of the creative industry.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this in Lagos at the opening of the 2019 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF).
A statement on the event was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday by Mr Segun Adeyemi, the Special Adviser to the minister
Mohammed was quoted as saying that the film industry had put the country on the global map and MOPICON, when passed into law, would attract the much needed investment to the industry.
He also disclosed that the government would establish the Endowment Fund for the Arts to create a legal framework for the financing of the creative industry.
The minster commended the founder of AFRIFF, Chioma Ude for keeping the festival flying and particularly, for using the 2019 edition to celebrate women in the industry.
He noted that women were taking an increasing leading role in the creative industry and they were succeeding.
“This is quite delightful, as women most often succeed when they take charge, and examples are there for all to see, particularly in the creative industry.
“During our first tenure in office, I attended a number of movie premieres, stage performances and other creative industry events.
“It is amazing that a whole lot of them were produced by women.
“Genevieve Nnaji’s ” Road to Yesterday”, Bolanle Austen-Peter’s “The Bling Lagosians”, ” Waka the Musical”, “Saro the Musical” as well as “Fela and the Kalakuta Queens”, Mo Abudu’s ” The Wedding Party 1&2″ etc
“All of these movies and stage shows were runaway successes,” he said.
The minister implored the women in the creative industry not to relent in showing the way in the industry.
He said the evidence of government’s support for creativity was evident in the granting of the industry, the pioneer status.
Mohammed said the policy had improved access to long term, low cost financing for entrepreneurs and investors in the creative industry.
He added that the information technology sector was also granted access to long term, low cost financing through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI).
The minister reassured that the government would continue to support the creative industry.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the theme of the 2019 AFRIFF is “SHEROES”.