Lagos gov’t hands out filmmaker loans
Thirty-nine Nollywood filmmakers have been given interest-free loans worth N200m (US$481,000) by the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The filmmakers are beneficiaries of special interest-free loans managed by the Lagos State Creative Initiative, under the ministry of tourism, arts and culture. The move is aimed at addressing financial challenges that inhibit quality film production in Lagos and Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu said: “This initiative and presentation of cheques being done today is a testament to our commitment to ensure the potential of the entertainment industry are realised. I congratulate the beneficiaries who are receiving their cheques today and I am convinced that your proposals and plans must have been really compelling and convincing to earn the approval of the committee.”
He also encouraged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the loans and pay them back within the stipulated time to enable others to access the fund.
Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, commissioner for tourism, arts and culture, said: “Before the establishment of the revolving loan for filmmakers, the governor had made various interventions to ameliorate the devastating effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on business owners in the hospitality, entertainment and tourism sector.
“Mr Governor constituted a palliative review committee headed by Nollywood veteran actress Joke Silva, which proposed a N1bn immediate intervention for the various stakeholders. Following Mr Governor’s approval, the ministry subsequently presented cheques to some of the beneficiaries at the maiden edition of the Lagos Tourism, Hospitality Arts & Culture Economic Summit held last year.”
“To complement this gesture, the ministry sought and obtained Mr Governor’s approval for a 50% rebate on operating licence fees payable by all the practitioners in the entertainment and hospitality sector for year 2020. The state government is interested in using the revolving funds to bring youths out of unemployment while also creating entrepreneurs who would use their creativity to enhance the market shares of the film industry.”