The Federal Government in a bid to reposition the entertainment industry has inaugurated a committee to review and restructure the N3bn project Nollywood grant.

The fund was set up to solve the main challenges impeding the growth of the Nigerian movie industry.

So far, the federal government through the project has implemented specialist training programmes in Nigeria and abroad in which 247 practitioners have been trained to improve their technical and professional capacities in the entertainment industry.

Also, a total of 113 film projects, employing 2,436 people, have been co-financed through grants from the fund at the cost of N799m, while an Innovative Film Distribution Programme has been designed to support viable solutions in film distribution and the prevention of privacy.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, while inaugurating the committee on Friday in Abuja during a meeting convened to brainstorm on how to address the challenges of the sector said time had come for investors in the sector to start getting returns on their investment.

She said the desire to reposition and restructure the fund was borne out of the need to stimulate investments in the entertainment industry owing to its job creation potentials.

She said, “This grant program was conceived to support the industry and its a reflection of the importance of the entertainment industry on the Nigerian economy.

“What we ve come here to do is to look at the outstanding parts of the program as yet unimplemented, to review them to ensure that they are still appropriate where the industry is today and where our objectives lie for the industry.

“We want to ensure sustainability. We don’t want to give out money to Nollywood. N3bn is not enough if we are going to give out money. What we need to do is to find a sustainable way to support Nollywood.

“We will be inaugurating a committee to review the program, restructure it if necessary and to come up with an implementation plan with measurable and demonstrable deliverables and outcomes so that we ensure that we get maximum value for the industry and for the Nigerian people.”

The minister challenged operators in the sector to be more firm in tackling the issue of piracy adding that most of the people who had worked hard to come up with creative movie don’t get to benefit from their investments owing to piracy.

She added, “We need to improve distribution to ensure that the investments to make a film actually get the desired return.

“What do we do about piracy. How can we make this fund to make sure that we cut down the opportunities for those who simply sit back and wait for others to invest and then cream off the profit.”

Present at the workshop are representatives of the key stakeholders in the Nigerian Film industry, such as the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, the leadership of Nollywood, the Actors Guild, Film and Videos Censors Board, the Nigerian Film Corporation and the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

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