Metro

Eid-el-Fitri: RATTAWU congratulates Muslims, urges precaution against COVID-19

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Eid-el-Fitri: RATTAWU congratulates Muslims, urges precaution against COVID-19

Salah

Awka, 24, 2020 The Radio Television, Theatre and Art Workers Union (RATTAWU), South East Zone, on Sunday congratulated Muslim faithful for successful completion of 2020 Ramadan Fast and Eld-el-Fitri celebration.

Mr Emeka Kalu, National Vice President RATTAWU, disclosed this in a statement issued in Awka.

Emeka, while congratulating the Muslims, said they should use their renewed spirits and lessons of Ramadan to relate harmoniously with people of other creed for overall national peace and progress.

He said they should celebrate the joyous occasion with full observance of standard safety protocols against the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The Ramadan is an inspiration for enduring love and genuine loyalty, success, tolerance and RATTAWU calls on all to embrace the principle of peace.

RATTAWU South East Zone reminds our Comrade Muslim brothers and sisters to continue to abide by the regulations issued by the World Heath Organisation, Federal and State Governments on COVID-19 prevention.

“Recall that the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs had also banned all forms of public gatherings to celebrate this year’s Eid, a situation occasioned by the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic across the world.

“Let’s remain in our homes and pray for our members, our Union RATTAWU and Nigeria as a nation, especially at this very challenging moment of global downturn.

“So as you engage in the celebrations associated with the completion of the Ramadan period, please remember to maintain physical distancing, use of face masks, hand washing and all other protocols enunciated by the NCDC.

“We must also remember the ban on all forms of non essential inter state movements,”  he said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/eid-el-fitri-rattawu-congratulates-muslims-urges-precaution-against-covid-19/

Entertainment

FG urges states to provide infrastructure for film industry devt.

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The Federal Government on Monday called on states to provide necessary infrastructure for the growth of the film industry  to create wealth and employment for youths.


The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call in Abuja while inaugurating the Steering Committee for the Reform and Commercialisation of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government is partially commercialising the NFC to effectively discharge its mandate to plan, promote, organise and co-ordinate the development of the motion picture industry in the country.

Inaugurating the committee, the minister underscored the need for states to invest in  infrastructure to boost the film industry because of its potentials to create jobs and boost the economy

Relying on International Monetary Fund data, Mohammed said the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, is the second largest employer of labour and contributed N893 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015.

The minister also noted that Nollywood could perform better if the needed infrastructure such as film houses and enabling environment were provided.

In a comparative analysis, the minister disclosed that Nigeria has only 142 cinema houses compared to South Africa with 782 cinema houses.

According to him, the US has  40,393 cinema houses while India and China have 11,209 and 50,976 cinema houses respectively.

“You cannot have a successful film industry without adequate cinema houses because the major revenue source of the industry is exhibition .

“The most successful film in Nigeria today is “Wedding Party 1 and 2”  that grossed about two million dollars within a week through the cinema houses.

“You can imagine  a gross of 2 million dollars using only 142 cinema houses, and how much the film would have grossed if we have about 1000 cinema houses for exhibition,” he said.

“That is why it is important to appeal to our state governments to invest in infrastructure in the  industry.

“I do not  think it will be too much  for the state government to ensure they build one cinema house in each local government area of their states to give us an additional 774 cinema houses in the country.

“In India, 14 million people attend cinema daily and I can imagine the impact it will have on the economy,” he said.

The minister also underscored the need for states to look into building purpose-built arenas for concerts and shows to encourage creative artists.

“I will advise state governments to look into having arenas in each senatorial district or one in the state capital.

“I do not know of any place where we have purpose-built arena today because most places where we have concerts are not purpose-built.

“We have artists in Nigeria that can sell out anywhere in the world;  Burna boy, Wiz Kid and Davido sold out in Arena 02 in London and in other big arenas over the world.

“The biggest arena in Nigeria which is not even purpose-built can only accommodate about 7000 people whereas the Arena 02 in London accommodates up to 20,000 people,” he said.

The minister also canvassed for easy acquisition of land and tax waivers for artistes and investors who would like to build cinema houses or invest generally in the industry.

He noted that apart from wealth and employment creation, promoting the film industry would help to build inclusion and reduce social tension.

The minister noted that the intention of the administration is to make Nigeria the capital of entertainment in Africa,

He said though the film industry had been largely driven by the private sector, the Federal Government had been supporting the industry by providing enabling environment and funding.

“In 2013, there was “Project Nollywood” in which the government made available to the sector about 17 million USD for the growth and promotion of the industry.

“I am also aware of the various multilateral injection of funds to this industry and we have also embarked on revolutionary reforms to reposition the industry,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Alex Okoh, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), said with the tremendous potentials of the film industry to reposition the nation’s economy, the government needed to play a prominent role.

Okoh said that the government was reforming the NFC to take the leading role in harnessing the potentials in the sector.

He, however, clarified that the reform process “is not a privatisation of the corporation but the commercialisation of this important enterprise and agency of government.”

“The clarification is that in this reform process, there is no transfer of ownership, no sale of shares and no privatisation of the entity.

“It is basically to ensure the resident value of the enterprise and its commercial viability,” he said.

He said the steering committee  being chaired by the minister would consider and approve the recommendations submitted by the project delivery team for the commercialisation of the corporation.

Other members of the steering committee inaugurated by the minister were Okoh, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Grace Gekpe and the Managing Director of NFC, Chidia Maduekwe.

The Director Information and Communication of BPE, Dikko Mohammed, will serve as the Secretary of the committee.

(
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo)
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/fg-urges-states-to-provide-infrastructure-for-film-industry-devt/
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Economy

Why FG is commercialising NFC — Lai Mohammed

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The Federal Government says it is reforming and commercialising  the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) to address the agency’s teething challenges and reposition it for improved performance.


The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known on Monday in Abuja while inaugurating a Steering Committee for the Reform and Commercialisation of the Corporation.

He said the federal government has engaged the services of a Business Development Consultant to conduct a due diligence on the corporation and sector and recommend a strategy that is suitable for its reform and commercialisation.

Mohammed said the NFC, which was established with a mandate to plan, promote, organise and co-ordinate the development of the Nigerian motion picture industry, has not been able to meet up with its statutory functions.

He noted that since its establishment, the Corporation has faced several challenges including inability to engage in commercial film production.

The minister said the law establishing NFC limits its operational functions such that it cannot leverage on the private sector-led growth of the industry.

He added that the National Film Institute (NFI), a unit in NFC, is not empowered to leverage its technical and professional capabilities for commercial purposes and revenue generation.

Mohammed said the NFC’s civil service structure comes with bureaucratic limitations, budgetary constraints and operational inefficiency.

“A critical look at the existing organizational structure shows that NFC is over-bloated and needs to be restructured to reflect its purpose.

NFC has obsolete equipment, with some dating back to colonial times,” he said.

The minister noted that the reform of the corporation will help in the efforts of the government to reposition the nation’s film industry, Nollywood, and make Nigeria the capital of entertainment in Africa.

Relying on International Monetary Fund data, Mohammed said Nollywood is the second largest employer of Labour and contributed N893 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015.

The minister noted that Nollywood could perform better if the NFC is restructured and needed infrastructure enabling environment are provided.

He noted that apart from wealth and employment creation, promoting film industry would help to build inclusion and reduce social tension.

Earlier, Mr Alex Okoh, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), said with the tremendous potentials of the film industry to reposition the nation’s economy, the government needed to play a prominent role.

Okoh said that the government is reforming the NFC to take the leading role in harnessing the potentials in the sector.

He, however, clarified that the reform process “is not a privatisation of the corporation but the commercialization of this important enterprise and agency of government”.

“The clarification is that in this reform process, there is no transfer of ownership, no sale of shares and no privatization of the entity.

“It is basically to ensure the resident value of the enterprise and its commercial viability,” he said.

He said the steering committee being chaired by the minister would consider and approve the recommendations submitted by the project delivery team for the commercialisation of the corporation.

Other members of the steering committee inaugurated by the minister are, Okoh, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Grace Gekpe and the Managing Director of NFC, Chidia Maduekwe.

The Director Information and Communication of BPE, Dikko Mohammed, will serve as the Secretary to the committee.

NFC, established by Decree No. 61 of 1979 and is 100 per cent  owned by the Federal Government and has its registered office in Jos, Plateau State.

 It is established to distribute documentary films on different aspects of Nigeria’s socio-cultural and political life and provide film services for the Federal Government.

The corporation is to train young talented Nigerians in the art of film making, conducting research into Nigerian films and provide technical and financial support to film Industry and practitioners.

NFC is also established to regulate and organise professional practice in the film industry.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/why-fg-is-commercialising-nfc-lai-mohammed/
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General news

Niger governor calls for collaboration on maintenance of state roads

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Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has urged articulated vehicle owners to cooperate with the state government on the issue of the state roads in order to safeguard the socio-economic activities of the Nation.


The state roads serves as a major link between the Northern part of the country and the South-West part through its Bida to Minna axis which is a state road.

Bello, who spoke on the background of the re-opening of the closed Bida-Minna road, said the weight of the vehicles was heavily affecting the state of roads in the state.

He added that currently the Bida-Minna road has finally given way and motorists especially the truck drivers are going through another state road; the Bida-Lapai-Paiko road.

The governor said articulated vehicle should stick to the agreed tonnes of 40,000 litres of those carrying petroleum products and 35 tonnes dry weight for other goods.

“One of the causes of the deplorable state of the roads is that overtime, no one has paid attention to trucks and trailers. So, tanker owners decided to increase the carrying capacity of their tankers from between 45,000 to about 90,000 litres. For dry cargoes, they carry 60 to 70 tons. I don’t think any of our Nigerian roads have been designed to carry such weight.

“So, within two to three years, we realised that most of the roads, especially in Minna town, from Chachanga Bridge to Kpakungu roundabout, have been destroyed by these trucks, not because of the volume of the trucks but the weight. The number of trucks that ply that road does not really matter, as long as they carry specified tonnage.

“Recently, we awarded the contract to Dantata Construction Company for the reconstruction of Minna-Bida road. Unfortunately, the contractors are complaining that the pace of work is so slow because of the volume of trailers that ply the route,” he said.

He explained that the re-opening of the state roads was to mitigate the negative economic hardship faced by people in the northern region due to shortage of petroleum products and food.

He added that since inception, the administration has been carrying out intervention works on some of the federal roads in the state, mainly to ameliorate the sufferings of its citizens in spite of lean resources.

The governor, however, said that the Federal and state government were taking remedial measures to forestall hardship and resolve the issue of bad road network in the state.

“The decision led to shortage of petroleum products up Northern Nigeria, as Niger State, particularly Minna-Bida road became the transit route for tankers moving premium motor spirit (PMS). Other heavy duty vehicles between the South to the North suffered similar fate and food shortages stared all in the face.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a stakeholders meeting was convened in Abuja at the weekend, chaired by the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, with the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Services, the Managing Director of the NNPC and the Minister of Works in attendance.

Briefing the press after the meeting, Bello explained that the meeting looked at the shortage of the supply of petroleum products up north.

“We also looked at causes of why we are having problems today.

“Overtime, most of our highways have been ignored. We all know that the main road most people travel from the South-west to the northern part of this country is the Jebba-Mokwa-Tegina-Kagara-Birnin Gwari-Kaduna. That is a trunk ‘A’ road that has been abandoned and neglected for many years. It is not motorable at the moment.

“The option was to take Mokwa-Bida-Agaie-Lapai-Lambata, which also is very bad.

“I am glad today, in the meeting, we discussed this and agreed on 45,000 litres for PMS, which I believe is still too much but we can work with it, or 35 tons for dry cargo.

“The idea is, if we control the weight, the road will probably survive the rainy season. We will do some remedial works, meaning, the failed section will be maintained and the bridges, whose integrity test is questionable or show signs of weakness will be fortified just to survive the rainy season.

“I am aware, the minister of works is making arrangement to fund those contracts. His ministry has already awarded but at the moment, our major concern and challenge is to survive the rainy season. Once we are able to survive the rainy season, the contractors will go back to site.

“We did not close the Minna-Bida road to inconvenience people but to save and protect the only road that connects the South-western and northern parts of the country.

“My understanding is, while the state government is doing some remedial works on Farin-Doki up to Chachanga, City Gate to Minna town, then Pakungu to Bida road, the Federal Ministry of Works will concentrate on Lambata-Bida

“Hopefully, they will also concentrate on Mokwa-Kagara-Tegina-Birnin Gwari road. Once those roads are fixed, people in Minna will begin to see reduction in the volume of trailers passing through Minna town”.

On the measures put in place to ensure compliance with the new directive, the governor said: “First of all, we expect the depots not to load any truck that is more than 45,000 litres of petroleum products. We also expect, especially the cement companies not to load any trailer that is more than 35 tonnes”.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/niger-governor-calls-for-collaboration-on-maintenance-of-state-roads/
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General news

Okowa mourns Emir of Zazzau

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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has condoled with the the government and people of Kaduna State on the death of Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.


The governor’s condolence message was conveyed in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, on Monday in Asaba.

He also commiserated with the royal family and the Zazzau Emirate Council on the death of the traditional ruler.

Okowa said for 45 years, the late emir had the rare privilege of leading the people of Zazzau Emirate with utmost diligence and unassuming dedication.

He stressed that the deceased, who was one of the longest serving traditional rulers in the country, was a strong proponent of peace, progress and development in the country and exemplified this in his 45 years on the throne.

According to the governor, Nigerians across political and religious beliefs will miss the leadership and warm disposition of the emir.

He said that the emir’s good works and leadership qualities would long be remembered and cherished in his emirate and the entire nation.

He described the late Idris as a great patriot, whose honest and peace loving leadership was commendable.

“The late emir was an iconic leader and exemplary peacemaker whose influence and commitment to good leadership traversed beyond his emirate.

“In the last 45 years of his reign, the Zazzau Emirate developed further in the areas of infrastructure, especially education and peaceful co-existence among the people of the emirate and their neighbours.

“He played a fatherly role in his regular call for peace among farmers and herdsmen in the state and the nation at large.

“The late Shehu Idris was a man who feared Allah in his leadership and was always ready to assist and support the needy as well as the development of the Zazzau Emirate.

“Since he was appointed Emir of Zazzau on February 8, 1975, the deceased served under 20 governors, and was never found wanting in his leadership disposition,” he said.

The governor assured the government and people of Kaduna State and Zazzau Emirate in particular, of the prayers and thoughts of the government and people of Delta in this moment of grief.

He prayed Allah to forgive him his sins and grant him Aljanah firdaus and comfort the people of Zazzau Emirate on the demise of the royal father..

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni and Isaac Ukpoju
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/okowa-mourns-emir-of-zazzau/
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