Minister inaugurates committee on commercialization of Nigeria Film Corporation

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THE minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, has inaugurated the Steering Committee on the Commercialization of the Nigeria Film Corporation, NFC, saying the country’s film industry has the potential to make Nigeria the entertainment capital of Africa.

While performing the inauguration in Abuja on Monday, the minister said the federal government is now set to reposition the NFC for effective service delivery.

“What we are doing today is to simply reposition the NFC in a manner that will enable it to play the role statutorily assigned to it,” he said.

Mohammed noted that the film industry drives entertainment and
has brought fame to the country, hence the need to reposition the
sector and provide the necessary enablement for the industry to
thrive.

He decried the lack of critical infrastructure to drive the film
industry in Nigeria, saying, for example, that Nigeria has only 142
cinema houses compared to South Africa with 782 cinemas, United States
of America, 40,393, India, 11,209 and China with 50,976 cinemas.

The minister therefore appealed to state governments to invest in the
provision of infrastructure for the entertainment industry, in view of
its huge potential to generate employment and contribute to the
economy.

“It is important to appeal, especially to our state governments, to
invest in infrastructure in the industry. I don’t think it will be too
much for the state governments to ensure they build at least one
cinema house in each local government area of their state. That will
give us additional 774 cinema houses,” he said.

Mohammed said at the moment, the NFC, which is expected to
regulate and organise professional practice in the film industry, is
facing numerous challenges, which include NFC’s inability to engage in
commercial film production; the fact that the law establishing the
Corporation limits its operational functions such that it cannot
leverage on the private sector-led growth of the industry, and also
that NFC’s civil service structure comes with bureaucratic
limitations, budgetary constraints and operational inefficiency among
others.

He said in order to address these challenges and reposition the NFC
for improved performance, the Federal Government has engaged the
services of a Business Development Consultant to conduct due diligence
on the corporation and the sector and recommend a strategy that is
suitable for its reform and commercialization.

“Dear members of the SC, your appointment into this committee comes
with huge trust and belief in your ability and capacity to make this
reform happen. I therefore urge you to consider this a critical
national assignment that requires unflinching commitment and zeal,”
the minister said.

In his remarks, the Director General of the Bureau for Public
Enterprise, Alex Okoh, clarified that the reform of the NFC is not
a privatization but commercialization, with no transfer of ownership
and sale of share, so as to ensure that the resident values of the
corporation are enhanced.

The members of the Steering Committee are: minister, Federal
Ministry of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed as Chairman;
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture,
Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe; Director General, BPE, Alex Okoh;
Managing Director, NFC, Chidia Maduekwe, and Director, Industries
and Communications, BPE, Abdullahi Dikko, as Secretary.

– Sept. 22, 2020 @ 17:35 GMT |

 

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