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Gbajabiamila reveals importance of Nollywood towards nation-building

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has stated that the players in the nation’s entertainment industry, popularly known as Nollywood, have a critical role to play in not only shaping the society for the better but also influencing how the nation is viewed by the outside world through the content of their trade.

This was contained in a statement issued on Saturday, April 17, by his Media Adviser, Lanre Lasisi, who said the Speaker made the call during the opening of a Leadership Master Training for Nollywood Celebrities and Stakeholders under the platform of Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN) in Abuja on Friday.

Gbajabiamila said, “Beyond the questions of economics and profit, there is the issue of the critical role of Nollywood in influencing culture, defining national character, and promoting national identity.

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“You also have a responsibility to tell the best stories of our beloved country. I do not propose to turn you into cheerleaders for a Nigeria that does not exist. But the stories of men and women thriving through adversity and innovating for prosperity needs to be told, and it falls to you to tell those stories.

“I hold in my heart a fundamental belief that our highest aspirations for Nigeria can only be achieved by the combined effort of patriots working together to make real the vision of a prosperous and peaceful country.”

To emphasise the importance of Nollywood to the nation’s socio-economic development, Gbajabiamila noted that the entertainment industry in Nigeria has grown to become a critical part of the economy.

He, however, stressed that by addressing the challenges confronting the industry, much more can be achieved, saying, “With adequate investment, a supportive regulatory environment, better training and capacity development, Nollywood will grow beyond our present dreams and surpass our highest ambitions.

“It falls to all of us, in government, in the private sector and across society to identify the ways we can help the industry reach the heights we all know is possible.”

Gbajabiamila said the training was apt, particularly at this moment in the national history when the challenges we face require leadership, creativity and innovation in bounds.

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