… As Practitioners, Others Call For More Support from LASG

Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, the President of the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Mr. Bolaji Amusan, popularly known as Mr. Latin, popular Nigerian actress and filmmaker, Fathia Balogun Williams and some key Nollywood personalities, on Sunday, discussed how the existing relationship between the movie industry and the State Government could be further strengthened. 

Speaking on “Collaboration between Nollywood and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture” during a virtual stakeholder-engagement held via Zoom, the Commissioner urged the actors and actresses to be deliberate in their storytelling such that the morals from their films will reflect the strength, values and the resilience of Nigerians.

Mrs. Akinbile-Yusuf said rather than portraying the negative side of the society and reflecting the same in their movies, the Nollywood stars should pay attention to selling the brand of Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole to the outside world, such that investors are willing to come and invest in the nation’s film industry. 

The Commissioner opined that the entertainment and tourism industry across the world is private-sector driven and thrives on public-private-partnership, maintaining that no efforts should be spared to make the industry more attractive to both local and international investors. 

She harped on the need for the practitioners to register with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, being the regulator of all activities relating to Tourism, Entertainment, Arts and Culture. 

While informing the artistes of the State Government’s plans to establish a film village to further ease the challenges faced by the filmmakers during movie production, Akinbile-Yusuf revealed that 100 hectares of land has already been earmarked and secured for this purpose in Epe area of the State. 

She also disclosed that efforts are being intensified to complete the ongoing reconstruction of the J. K Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History in Onikan, as well as the Glover Memorial Hall located in a high-brow area on Lagos Island. 

According to the Commissioner, the two edifices when completed will help create an avenue for the younger generation to develop their talents and skills, while also enhancing the activities of the movie practitioners and all other stakeholders in the Tourism and Entertainment industry. 

Responding to the request for the establishment of additional theatres across the State, Akinbile-Yusuf said “Yes, there is need for more theatres and we will have more, but we want to ensure that the ones available are put into good use first”.

Earlier in his submission, the TAMPAN President pleaded with the State government to revive community cinemas in all the local council areas as a way of rekindling the interest of residents in cinemas.

He envisaged that community cinemas would generate revenue for the government, especially the various local council areas, and will also advance the progress of the motion picture industry.

Also present at the meeting were former Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture in Lagos State, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; Nigerian film-maker, Mahmood Ali-Balogun; the President of Actors Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Rollas Ejezie and the CEO of LEARNTOR, Mercy George-Igbafe among others.