Former President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), GCFR has called on government, entrepreneurs and well-meaning Nigerians to support the Nigerian Film industry to flourish.

Babangida was speaking as Chairman at the opening ceremony of the 28th Annual International Conference of the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA), hosted by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) on Tuesday, 4th August, 2015 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.

SONTACHARepresented by the former Chairman, NICO Governing Board, Alhaji Isma’il Ibrahim, IBB said if an enabling environment is provided for the film industry, Nollywood can serve as a potent mechanism to address the current security challenges militating against Nigeria.

His words: “Beyond entertainment, through films, the citizenry can be adequately informed and educated on the enormous benefits of living in peace and harmony, have respect for the sanctity of human life, and of course, the grave dangers of breakdown of law and order and the tendencies towards criminality and insurgency.”

According to him, while a lot is expected from Nollywood, the industry still needs collective support in the provision of infrastructure and enabling environment to thrive, adding that, the war against piracy should be supported so that stakeholders will not be denied of their creative benefits.

Babangida therefore urged all to take advantage of the general acceptance of Nollywood films by the global industry and society and revive our cherished cultural values, which have been eroded mainly due to cultural imperialism, especially exposure to foreign films.

He expressed optimism that Nollywood can be deployed as a veritable tool for cultural diplomacy and social engineering, saying, “Through the medium of Nigerian films, our rich and diverse cultural heritage and achievements can be projected to attract tourists and investors the way foreign films have been effectively used to promote Indian and American national interests.”

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja