Oloibiri, Nigeria’s Golden Goose, Comes Alive On Screen

Oloibiri, the small, sleepy community in the Ogbia Local Government Area of present day Bayelsa State, the location from which crude oil was discovered and exploited in commercial quantity in 1956, came alive as a feature film, entitled, Oloibiri, produced by Rightangle Productions, was exclusively screened for a select audience.

The command screening of the film, Oloibiri, took place Thursday, 8th September, 2016, at the Ladi Kwali Hall of Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, with the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as the Chief Host.

According to the producers, perhaps, Oloibiri may never have been known if not for divine providence of God locating Nigeria’s common wealth, crude oil, underneath its soil; but sadly, 60 years after, the community has nothing to show for the wealth the nation has tapped from its soil but dry and rusty wells, a polluted environment, and a host of health, economic and social challenges.

The feature length movie is based on the heart-rending, sad life of the people of Oloibiri community, where crude oil had brought more harm that good, more underdevelopment than development, more retrogression than progress, and more ‘oil doom’ than ‘oil boom’.

Starring some of the best of Nollywood icons, namely, Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD), Olu Jacobs, Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett, Ivie Okujaye, Ifeanyi Williams and Hollywood’s Williams Moses of CSI fame, Oloibiri is a story of the frustration and anger of a people, whose land has been exploited of its resources and abandoned to a life of hopelessness, hunger and poverty.

In the words of the producer, Oge Neliaku, Oloibiri, a collaborative work with Theatron Media Canada, is the first in what she called, the National Heritage Productions Series (NHPS) initiative; and it is a creative approach to addressing the youth restiveness in the Niger Delta.

Neliaku disclosed that the vision of NHPS is to identify distinct, original, legacy stories and events on Nigeria and produce them into world class movies from the Nigerian point of view; and that it is an initiative to capture and preserve history, build national consciousness, strengthen national integration, enhance Nigeria’s global goodwill, and attract public-private support for the concerned communities, where applicable.

The impressive aspect of the NHPS initiative is that part of the proceeds will go to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes: support community development projects in the particular local environment after recovering the cost of production.

Present at the screening, along with the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, were the Honourable Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed, Honourable Minister of Labour & Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information & Culture, Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba; some CEOs of Federal Cultural Parastatals: Associate Professor Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma (NICO), Dr. Ferdinand Anikwe (CBAAC), Alhaji Abdallah Yussuf Usman (NCMM), Mr. Akin Adejuwon (NTN); as well as Nkanta George Ufot (Director, Eternal Cultural Relations, FMI&C), Ms Grace Gekpe (Director, Entertainment and Creative Industries, FMI&C), and Mr. Tony Ojobo (Director, Corporate Affairs, NCC), among others.

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