Nigerian film industry contributes 2.3 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Gbajabiamila made the revelation on Friday at a two-day leadership masterclass training for Nollywood Actors organised by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The Speaker, who noted that over 2,500 movies are produced annually, applauded Nollywood actors and actresses as well as others who made up the Nollywood entertainment industry.
He added that ”with talent, fortitude, and extraordinary resilience, Nigerian filmmakers built a globally competitive entertainment industry in spite of the challenges and constraints in the nation’s environment”.
“With adequate investment, a supportive regulatory environment, better training and capacity development, Nollywood will grow beyond our present dream and surpass our highest ambitions.
“It falls on all of us in government, the private sector and across the society to identify ways we can help the industry reach the heights and we all know is possible,” he said.
Gbajabiamila said that away from the questions of economics and profit, there was the issue of the critical role of Nollywood in shaping culture, establishing a national reputation, and improving national identity.
“As actors and entertainers, you directly exert tremendous influence on the lives of hundreds of millions of Nigerians, they are impacted by the roles you play, the stories you tell and the realities you explore in your movies,” he said.
Gbajabiamila said that ”this comes with a responsibility to tell stories that inspire goodness, motivate thoughtful acts, encourage fraternity, and uplift the human condition”.
“You also have a responsibility to tell the best stories of our beloved country. I do not propose to turn you into cheerleaders for a Nigeria that does not exist.
“But the stories of men and women thriving through adversity and innovating for prosperity needs to be told, and it falls to you to tell those stories,” he said.
On his part, the National President, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Emeka Rollas said that knowledge was vital to leadership growth and sustainable society.
He advised actors to work collectively to seek a sustainable path to economic growth and better the industry through qualitative leadership.
“We need leadership sustainability in the industry through training and retraining to enable us grows the business to keep meeting global demand.
“The training will enhance our management skill, strategic plan, thought process, new adaptations, risk management among others,” he said.