The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, has said the Federal Government will increase its effort at combating piracy in the entertainment industry.
He stated this when he received in audience the Abuja Chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), led by its chairman, Prince Alvin Ahmed.
Keyamo expressed deep concern at the rate artistes lose their intellectual properties through piracy, noting that if left unchecked, the scourge would stunt the growth of Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry.
He assured the Nollywood members that the Ministry of Labour and Employment would collaborate with other government agencies to tackle piracy. By so doing, the intellectual properties would be protected and the industry would grow and more employment would be created.
Acknowledging the socio-economic importance of Nollywood to the nation, and its huge capacity at generating employment, the Minister assured the AGN of government’s effort at promoting the industry.
He stated that government had made available funds for the industry, and encouraged them to access the funds so long as they could fulfill the conditions attached.
According to him, other ways to grow the industry is for government to invest heavily in infrastructure such as building film villages, providing state-of-the-art equipment and post-production studios, and making them affordable for young producers.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Prince Alvin Ahmed, sought collaboration with government on promoting the film industry. “We are film makers, creative people, actors, producers. We want to have synergy with government. Nollywood wants a voice, a projection. We need our voices to be heard”, he said.
He also stated the desire of Nollywood to collaborate with government in putting the visions and plans of government into visuals.
Ahmed said the industry has contributed a lot in job creation by making people earn a living from entertainment, acting and film making. He then requested for government assistance in promoting the Nollywood Industry.
“Nollywood has been there for long, creating employment for a whole lot of people. There is no age limit to its employment, as little children, youths, adults, the old, physically challenged and so on, are all employed by the industry. In Abuja alone, Nollywood has close to 6,000 actors. Remove Nollywood, and these people will be on the street looking for jobs”, he stressed.
For: Deputy Director Press