Cooperate with COVID-19 Creative Industry Committee, NFVCB boss tells Nollywood guilds

by Araayo Akande

The Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Adedayo Thomas, has urged those opposed to the membership of the COVID-19 Creative Industry Committee to assess the pandemic’s impact on the industry, to cooperate with it.

In a statement he signed on Monday, Thomas explained that the bickering over the involvement of guild heads in participating or nominating members of the Committee was unnecessary.

He added that the existential threat the pandemic posed to the creative industry and which made the Minister act, was more critical.

Thomas said that while he understood the guild’s position that they should have been consulted, he asked them not to forget that the creative industry transcends movies and music.

He said, “We all understand how large the creative industry is, and it is expedient to incorporate its sectoral arms in whatever decision, policy-making and intervention efforts of the government. Hence, the need to set up such membership composition of the Committee with capable hands who have soared far and beyond in their respective sectors of the wider entertainment and creative industry. I believe this decision would not have been exclusive of the contributions and support of industry players.

“I understand your concerns on the need to consult guild heads, but we must not also fail to understand that the creative industry transcends the film and music sectoral arms, and there is need to widen the net needed to accommodate its tentacles. However, without an iota of doubt, I believe the Honourable Minister has received our concerns and would act in good faith in the future.

Thomas requested that all players support the Committee and not allow the opportunity to slip away. 

“May I, therefore, request that we support the Committee to see to its success for our collective good. Perhaps, in the spirit of oneness that we have shared as an industry, the guild and association heads can form a sub-committee to make representation to the main Committee or directly to the Honourable Minister on the objectives of the Committee. This will go a long way in viewing issues from a wider prism to enrich resolutions at the end of the day. We cannot afford to let our past efforts slip away by our grievances,” he said.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had established the COVID-19 Creative Industry Committee last week in Abuja with members including Ali Baba, Bolanle Austen Peters, Charles Novia, Segun Arinze, Ali Jita, Baba Agba, Kene Okwuosa and Efe Omoregbe.

The others are Prince Daniel Aboki, Chioma Ude, Olumade Adesemowo, Darey Art Alade, Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim, Anita Eboigbe and Oliver Enwonwu.

 The Committee’s mandate is to assess the expected impact of the pandemic on the creative industry in general, advise Government on how to mitigate job and revenue losses. It is also to suggest the taxation and financing model most suitable for the creative sector in this COVID-19 season to encourage growth and additional measures to support the industry.

However, 20 Nollywood guilds and associations had protested that their heads were not consulted before government constituted the Committee. The CORA/ARTERIAL NETWORK Nigeria, a significant player in the creative industry has also faulted the composition of the Committee. They had, therefore, sought the inclusion of the leaders in a newly reconstituted body.

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