By Iliya Kure
Kaduna (Nigeria) — Nigeria has unveiled a Committee to review the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria (MOPICON) bill, in an effort to fast track the passage into law of the MOPICON bill.
Performing the function Tuesday in Lagos, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed faulted claims in certain quarters that Nigeria is setting up the Council to control the movie industry.
”One of the ways we think we can tackle frontally the many challenges
militating against professional and career fulfillment in the movie
industry is to have a central body we can always refer to in decisions
aimed at improving and modernizing the motion picture industry.
”Also, government’s interest in the setting up of MOPICON is driven by the
fact that we at the supervising ministry need to work with a formidable
representative group that is empanelled to lobby for the growth,
development and welfare of the industry and its practitioners as well as
make for a better organized and more visible and vibrant Nollywood
industry. We have no hidden agenda and we will not be part of anything that
will stifle the growth of the burgeoning industry,” he said.
Mohammed charged the committee, headed by Ms Peace Anyiam Osigwe, to build on past efforts, dating back to the early 1990s, when Nigerian Motion Picture Practitioners under various bodies craved for the Council to engender sustainable growth of the industry based on best practices as well as practitioner’s protection and structured membership.
”One of the best efforts in this regard was the setting up of the first
Steering Committee for the Practitioners Council on April 4th 2005. The
17-member Committee, headed by Chief Tunde Oloyede, did a comprehensive work and submitted its report to the Federal Government in Nov. 2006. This was followed by the setting up, in April 2015, of an Advisory Interim Council to commence activities leading to the actualization of the take-off of MOPICON. Unfortunately, paucity of funds prevented the inauguration of the Interim Council.
”We are not here to reinvent the wheel but to build on the good efforts of
those who toiled hard in the past to set up MOPICON,” he said.
The Minister solicited the support of the stakeholders to enable him
achieve his plans for the industry, which include a stepped-up battle
against piracy, the establishment of the National Endowment for the Arts
and the need to reverse the lack of policy direction in the movie industry.
He gave the committee, which comprises representatives of the various
guilds and associations, as well as the Nigerian Film Corporation, Nigerian
Film and Video Censors Board, the Ministry of Information and Culture as
well as Nigeria Copyright Commission, three weeks to conclude its
assignment and submit its report.
The committee has 29 members.