REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT AN AUDIENCE WITH MEMBERS OF MOTION PICTURE PRACTITIONERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (MOPPAN), PRESIDENTIAL VILLA, ABUJA, 17TH DECEMBER, 2018
As I welcome you to the Villa, I am pleased to learn of the progress you have made as an industry. Despite the challenges you encounter, your journey so far is commendable and I congratulate you for continued commitment and determination to succeed.
2. Today, millions rely on your industry when it comes to current affairs and social issues. I am informed that your output reaches up to 70 million people across many countries within and outside Africa.
3. Such outreach means you have a moral and professional obligation to ensure that your story telling is not only entertaining but also addresses serious matters affecting societies today.
4. I am glad to learn that you refer to yourselves as entertainers and educators. This means you are very much aware of your responsibilities to propagate positive messages to your audience.
5. Nigeria today is a clear example of how a few trouble makers are using various media platforms to propagate negative and divisive messages. In some instances, these mischievous acts have led to lives being destroyed, homes broken and communities divided.
6. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that entertainers, regulators and censorship boards do the right thing by insisting on observation of cultural norms and protection of national interest.
7. I have been informed of the progress made on your interactions with the Moroccan entertainment industry.
8. As you are aware, Nigeria in the last two years has established a mutually beneficial relationship with the Kingdom of Morocco especially in the Agricultural sector.
9. In our engagements, I learnt that Morocco also has a vibrant film industry that is globally recognized as a shining example of Africa’s entertainment capability.
10. Based on this, I have directed that, in addition to agriculture, Nigeria should also explore potential partnership opportunities with the Moroccan entertainment industry.
11. I understand some of you were part of the various delegations, at both Federal and State levels, to have visited Morocco to explore partnership opportunities in the last 12 months.
12. As you may be aware, I have signed an instrument of ratification of the World Intellectual Property Organization on audio-visual performances.
13. On funding, I have already directed the Bank of Industry and the Nigeria Export – Import Bank to engage your sector by providing affordable working capital. This funding will unlock some of the trapped potentials in the entertainment industry, leading to growth.
14. Furthermore, I am tasking the Minister of Finance and Governor of Central Bank to ensure that these financial institutions immediately commence the engagement.
15. Let me conclude by assuring you that this Administration is fully committed to supporting all sectors that will create jobs for our citizens while positively impacting our communities.
16. Thank you and God bless our country.