The Lagos State Government says it will collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure the creative industry thrives.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stated this on Wednesday, during a virtual meeting with members of the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) and other key stakeholders in the Nigerian Film Industry.
Sanwo-Olu said that his administration was committed to doing all that was possible to boast the creative sector.
He said that the government was mindful of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on the entertainment industry, particularly the cinema sector.
According to him, the government will work with the association to achieve a win-win situation.
The governor assured the film industry experts that his administration would ensure that government continued to protect the interest of the industry.
Sanwo-Olu said that the administration was aware of the economic importance of the sector.
”We will work collaboratively with your industry. I am aware of the enormous challenges you face especially in this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
”But as you know, we have to do what is right to protect the lives and property of millions of Lagosians,” he said.
During the meeting, representatives of CEAN expressed concerns about their sector, appealing to the governor to reopen the cinemas and open up the sector for business.
Speaking on behalf of the association, Mr Moses Babatope, said cinema owners were ready to reopen and adhere strictly to the laid down COVID-19 safety protocols.
”We are ready to open our cinemas any time today or tomorrow. Cinemas outside Lagos are already open and they are complying with all the necessary protocols.
”We understand that your office is being careful about health and safety of Lagosians, but we also assure you that these are top considerations for us too,” Babatope said.
The association also requested that the governor should set up a film office to serve as a major hub for the film industry.
The office is also to, among other functions, liaise with foreign investors.
A film maker and one of the participants at the meeting, Omoni Oboli, appealed for tax waivers, as no one in the film industry had earned revenue in the past six months.
”We want you to help us with some tax break. As you may be aware sir, none of us has earned any revenue in the past six months.
“We want you to use your good offices to help our industry,” Oboli said.