LAGOS PRESENTS CHEQUES FOR INTEREST FREE LOANS TO FILMMAKERS

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has presented cheques to 39 film-makers, who are beneficiaries of special interest-free loans being managed by the Lagos State Creative Initiative (LACI), under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

The scheme is part of the state government’s initiative to support the creative ideas of movie and entertainment producers, who are constrained by funds to bring their concepts into reality.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, had at a ceremony held at Glover Memorial Hall, Lagos Island, disclosed that a 9-man committee comprising Veteran Film Makers and some senior Government officials headed by the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, was set up last year with the mandate to identify struggling filmmakers that could be empowered with grants and seed fund for film production purposes.

Sanwo-Olu said that the aim of the initiative is to address financial challenges that inhibit quality film production in Lagos and Nigeria.

He said, “This initiative and presentation of cheques being done today is a testament to our commitment to ensure the potentials of the entertainment industry are realised.

“I congratulate the beneficiaries who are receiving their cheques today. I am convinced that your proposals and plans must have been really compelling and convincing to earn the approval of the Committee.’’

The governor urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the loans and pay them back within the stipulated time to enable others to access the fund.

Giving her opening remarks, Akinbile-Yussuf, revealed that 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.

She said, “Mr. Governor constituted a Palliative Review Committee headed by Nollywood veteran actress, Joke Silva, which proposed a one billion Naira 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 Lagos Tourism, Hospitality Arts and Culture Economic Summit, LATHACE held last year.

“To complement this gesture, the Ministry sought and obtained Mr. Governor’s approval for a 50 percent rebate on Operating Licence Fees payable by all the practitioners in the entertainment and hospitality sector for year 2020.’’

She stated that N200 million worth of cheques would be presented to the 39 successful beneficiaries of the revolving loan under the first batch, while more recipients will still emerge as the collation for the second batch of applicants has started.

Going further she said, “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.’’

Recall that in September 2021, the Lagos State Government moved to boost funding of the entertainment and movie industry as it approved a special fund for filmmakers in the state.

The state government said that the approval of the special funds for filmmakers was done with the inauguration of a committee to oversee the disbursement of the funds to qualified individuals adding that each of the beneficiaries can access up to N40 million as a loan for film production.

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