April 30, 2016 – Nkem Owoh Osuofia Says GEJ Nollywood Intervention Fund Is A Scam, Actor Highlights Challenges Facing Industry
Excerpts From Osuofia’s recent interview with Flora Onwudike
Interviewer: What is most challenging in Nollywood?
Osuofia: There are a lot of challenges, there is lack of an enabling environment, political situation, the economy generally, personal finance, and government has not made any policy to finance us or even protect our finance or come up with common policy to protect us generally. Piracy, plagiarism and more are allowed to fester.
Interviewer: We learnt that some people pay producers money to feature in movies. Do you agree?
Osuofia: That is one of the challenges. That is why I said we need an enabling environment and perfection. So, if you’re perceived as somebody who is trying to be on the screen by all means, a lot of people are going to use you. But if the government has a policy, we will structure according to the policy the government provided.
As stakeholders, we should be involved in the policy because we know where the shoe pinches. So, there are a lot of challenges, but if government should give us that enabling environment, I believe we can make it.
Interviewer: The former President, Goodluck Jonathan, gave out some intervention funds for the industry, what happened to the money?
Osuofia: It was announced that the money was given to the industry. This is a personal opinion, even if the funds were given to the industry, was that the right thing to do to protect the industry? No, you have to lay down a foundation and help us to build the structure first. If we don’t have a structure and you bring that money, you are going to cause chaos.
This, I think, had caused a lot of damage already. So, I don’t think bringing out that money and then saying ‘it’s for the industry’ makes sense. Who are the ‘industry’? How are you protecting the industry? Where are the technologies? What are the guidelines from the government that protect this industry?
We want enabling environment, we are not requesting money from the government; nobody has the easy access to bring in technology from outside. I am sure if somebody from outside this country wants to go and make arrangement from abroad for somebody to come in here with technology, he or she is going to go through a lot of hiccups. Minimise some of these things for us then we can forge ahead, we can really feed this country I believe.