President of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Fred Amata, has urged the Federal Government to make Nollywood a national project following its improvement in content production capable of earning foreign exchange for the country through taxes.
Amata also appealed to government to convert the N500m loans it gave to benefiting members to grants, as being practiced all over the world.
The Federal Government had set aside N500m loan for beneficiaries in the creative sector at single digit through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to create employment for young people and empower the industry to earn foreign exchange.
“Government policies need to be better articulated to address challenges in the industry, we know that government recently released funds to the industry as loan through the CBN, but it should be more than that.
“We need grants for the film industry to make it a national project to enable Nollywood produce contents capable of increasing revenue for the country,” he said.
Amata made the demand at the weekend in Abuja, while speaking with journalists after a meeting with Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Christian Ohaa, on preparations for the 20th anniversary of the Guild in November.
He also stressed the need for more interface between government and the Nollywood industry to move it to the desired level.
Amata, who appealed to government to create favorable policies for the industry, solicited the support of FCTA in capacity building for artistes.
Speaking on DGN’s contributions to the Nigerian entertainment industry, Amata said: “DGN and its directors can boast of responsibility for the biggest projects the industry started with, creating and nurturing the biggest actors, structures, engagements and creating icons the industry knows till date.”
He also commended the FCT Administration for supporting the industry, particularly in the establishment of the Abuja Film Village International and staging of the annual Abuja Carnival.
Responding, Ohaa expressed the FCT’s willingness to partner with the DGN as it seeks to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
“We have different departments like the Abuja Film village, Centre for Arts and Culture, and even the FCT Archives that can collaborate with the Nollywood effectively, the Guild can come to the FCT Archives to get information that they will use to add value to what they are doing.
“We will create an enabling environment for the Nollywood industry to thrive in the FCT and the country. We will also collaborate with you to discuss with some private organisations that have relationship with us here to help sponsor some of your programmes,” he said.
Those who accompanied Amata for the visit are, Segun Arinze, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Kate Henshow, Tony Akposheri and Francis Duru, among others.