Lagos Tourism seeks collaboration with Nollywood

by Yinka Akanbi

In a bid to further strengthen its relationship with the creative sector, the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture recently engaged some key Nollywood personalities on how to work more closely with the movie industry and the state government.

While speaking on the ‘Collaboration Between Nollywood and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture’ during a virtual stakeholders-engagement held via Zoom, the commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, urged the practitioners to be deliberate in filmmaking, adding that the morals from their films should reflect the strength, values and the resilience of Nigerians.

According to the commissioner, rather than portray the negative side of the society and be reflecting the same in their films, the actors and producers should focus on portraying Lagos and Nigeria in a positive light such that investors view the film industry as viable.

Mrs. Akinbile-Yusuf added that entertainment and tourism is private-sector driven and thrives on public-private partnership, stressing that no stone should be left unturned in making the industry more attractive to local and international investors.

However, she stated that there is need for practitioners to register with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, being the regulator of all Tourism, Entertainment, Arts and Culture-related activities.

Akinbile-Yusuf also revealed the state government’s plans to establish a film village to assuage the challenges faced by the filmmakers during film production. She disclosed that 100 hectares of land has been earmarked and secured for the village in the Epe area of Lagos state.

In his submission, president of TAMPAN, Bolaji Amusan, urged the state government to revive community cinemas in the local council areas as a way of rekindling the interest of residents.

He posited that the cinemas would help generate revenue for the government, especially the various local council areas as well as advancing the progress of the motion picture industry.

Responding to the request for establishment of theatres across the state, the commissioner said: “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.”

She disclosed that plans are in place to complete the ongoing reconstruction of the J. K Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History in Onikan and the Glover Memorial Hall located in Lagos Island.

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

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