Some entertainment practitioners have called a stronger focus on the development of tourism potential of country’s entertainment industry as the nation marks 53 years of its independence.
Some members of the group in separate interviews in Lagos said that the entertainment industry was a major contributor to the economic development of the nation.
They explained that the major problems of the entertainment industry were piracy, copyright infringements and lack of funds.
A Popular Comedian, AY (Ayo Makun) in his remarks urged the Federal Government to establish a separate Ministry for the entertainment industry.
“The entertainment industry is too big to be under the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
“Nollywood alone is a big industry and you also have to consider other arms of entertainment like music, comedy and others,” he said.
AY said he had contributed his own quota to the entertainment industry and the growth of the nation through his shows on stage and Television.
“We are also good ambassadors of the country when we take our shows outside the shores of the nation.
“Foreigners respect and appreciate Nigerian arts and we, the citizens, are the ones that have taken the arts to them,‘’he said.
A Musician, Ade Bantu (Adegoke Odukoya) said that one of the biggest challenges facing the entertainment industry was piracy and copyright infringements.
“The music industry is hampered by lack of professional managers, lack of good distribution system and lack of proper record labels which makes life difficult for artistes. “The government has to do something about these things,’’ Bantu said.
An Actress, Adora Ukoh, was happy about 53 years of a united Nigeria but noted that the country had not made the desired progress.
“Nollywood is the second highest revenue earner for the country and also a big platform to sell the country, especially, through the media.
“It’s time for government to invest more funds in the Nollywood industry,’’ Ukoh said.
She said her numerous films had contributed to entertainment, education and employment of Nigerians.
Another Nollywood Actress, Ebube Nwagbo, said that Nigeria needed to do more to fully achieve its potential.
“We need to put the right people in the right places and the people in power should always have the interest of the public at heart.
“We, the citizens, should also do what is expected of us. It is not just the leaders,” Nwagbo said.
A Gospel Artiste, Bukola Afolayan, popularly known as Bouqui, urged the government to explore the tourism potential of music and channel more money toward its development.
“It is a good thing that Nigerians have lived in unity for 53 years but how far has the nation gone?’’ she asked.
“Music is a genuine tourist attraction. Everybody listens to music, so it would be nice if government can earmark some money for its development,” Afolayan said.