The Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said the film industry contributes 2.3 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr Gbajabiamila said this at a two-day leadership masterclass training for Nollywood Actors organised by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, on Friday in Abuja.
With over 2,500 movies produced annually, the speaker said it was expedient to acknowledge and celebrate 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”.
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“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.
He said that beyond the questions of economics and profit, there was the issue of the critical role of Nollywood in influencing culture, defining national character, and promoting 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.
Mr Gbajabiamila said that ”this comes with a responsibility to tell stories that inspire goodness, motivate thoughtful acts, encourage fraternity, and uplift the human condition”.