Lai Mohammed's approach to boosting the economy is totally wrong.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed is the gifts that keeps on giving.
His crafty statements that tend to shun facts and make you wonder at the audacity. Lai Mohammed's latest statement is the cream of the crop, the pick of the litter and his most confusing so far.
The Minister of Information and Culture on Saturday, July 15, 2017, said that the Federal Government is considering to stop the production of movies and music videos abroad.
"I am going to meet with the relevant stake holders over this, to see that whatever amendment that is needed to be made to our Broadcasting Code in this regard, is done urgently," he said during his visit to the headquarters of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).
This would be outrageous if wasn't hilarious. Once again, a Nigerian government official is putting the cart before the horse. The craze to produce Nigerian goods and patronise Nigerian services have led to many silly decisions and policies. I hope this proposal does not see the light of day.
Lai Mohammed's statement ignores the problems content creators face in Nigeria. The lack of coherent policies, facilities and training schools are the reasons why movies especially music videos are shot abroad.
You can't force people to shoot in Nigeria without making the atmosphere conducive for them. This country has no standard, modern film school. The National Film Institute in Jos is out of it. The once great Institute has been neglected by past governments. If the government can't establish proper art institutions it should encourage people who are interested in doing so.
Film makers and production companies should be given tax cuts. This would help them invest more cash in their projects. Film equipment should have no import duty on them. This would make them as cheap as possible for people to purchase.
The government should invest heavily in the arts, increase its allocation in the yearly budget, and deal with piracy. Until the government does all these things, everything else is just playing to the gallery.
Americans rarely go outside to shoot their movies or music videos because they have everything they have in Hollywood. If the government cannot help build our music and movies industry, then it should leave the practitioners alone with its impractical plans.
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