Abuja – The Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Victor Ndoma says the National Assembly will give the Nigerian film industry, `Nollywood’, all the legislative assistance it needs to thrive.
Ndoma-Egba made the assertion on Thursday in Abuja when members of Nollywood paid him a courtesy visit at the National Assembly.
He said: “I want to assure you that I, and I believe the National Assembly, will give you all the necessary legislative intervention.’’
The Senate Leader noted that in spite of the industry’s tremendous contributions to the nation, it had remained stagnant in the last 20 years.
According to him, we must strengthen our copy right laws to ensure that creativity translates to economic benefits.
“In spite of the contributions of the industry, not just to the National economy but even to the psyche of the outside world, it is still informal, totally unregulated, not structured, and with no legal framework.
“The film industry is still operating on archaic laws and I think this visit has alerted us that the time has come for us to structure the industry properly,” he said.
Ndoma-Egba said that the time was ripe to revisit the Copyright Act as well as all the bilateral and multilateral instruments and protocols that have to do with copyrights.
Earlier, the President, and Directors Film Guild of Nigeria, Andy Amenechi, noted that there were several bills pending before the National Assembly, which when passed would affect the industry positively.
“We have the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria Bill (MOPICON) as well as the Cyber Crime Security Bill.
“A lot of people think this Cyber Crime Security Bill has to do only with security, but it has to do with online piracy as well.
“So it is important that this bill is passed as quickly as possible because it will ensure the protection and safety of our movies online, because currently we suffer a lot of piracy online,”
Amenechi condemned the situation whereby stakeholders in the industry were often sidelined during public hearings held to discuss the future of the industry.
According to him, practitioners in the industry need to be properly represented at such hearings so as to state the challenges being encountered.
He noted that due to the lack of proper organisation in the industry, funds appropriated to it often ended in wrong hands, which was responsible for the continuous stagnation.
The film maker said that there was a need to have a public hearing on the film industry in Nigeria in order to identify the causes for its stagnation and proffer solutions.
Also, Chairman, Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Associations, Bond Emeruwa, said: “For 20 to 25 years it is very unfortunate that the industry still runs on the 1992 film policy, a film policy that predates Nollywood.
“If we still run a policy that predates Nollywood that means that there is no provision for the growth of this industry.”
Other members of the delegation included Fred Amata, Madu Chikwendu, Fidelis Duker and Lancelot Imasuen. (NAN)