Ahead of the 2014 centenary anniversary celebration, the Federal Government has moved to woo Nollywood practitioners to be part of the success of the colonial 1914 amalgamation in Nigeria. A delegation of the government, led by Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim met with the major stakeholders in the industry during the week, in Lagos, to intimate them about the celebration.
Addressing the practitioners on the essence of the celebration, Chief Anyim reiterated government's readiness to work with Nollywood to ensure the success of the anniversary in order to enhance peace and unity in the country. Anyim said government identified Nollywood as the critical success history of the Nigerian story, adding that the essence of the meeting was officially to brief the practitioners as well as ask them to develop their own programme so as to key into the centenary celebration which will be flagged by President Goodluck Jonathan on the 4th of February with a Presidential dinner.
*Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim with the major stakeholders
Anyim, while emphasizing the need for Nollywood to be part of the celebration, said, in the cause of the celebration, a Centenary City has been proposed as part of the legacy projects and expressed his desire to see that Nollywood has a presence in that city.
According to Anyim, "We think we must use the opportunity of the centenary celebration to focus global attention on Nigeria, the history of Nigeria, the achievements of Nigeria and aspirations of the country in the next century. Our idea of the whole thing is that we must involve every segment of the Nigerian society.
So, we sat down and categorised the stakeholders. We identified Nollywood as a critical success history of the Nigerian story. We thought that we will be able to brief you and necessarily asked you to develop your own programme and key into the centenary celebration. We will integrate your programme into our own programmes so that we can work together to make such programme part of the centenary celebration."
Anyim further explained that the Nigerian centenary project is conceived to be an event to hold in Abuja, all state capitals, some historic towns and cities in Nigeria and in other cities around the world.
The celebration with the theme 'One Nigeria: Great Promise" according to him, started this month, peaking on the actual centenary month of January 1, 2014 and tapering off with the formal Independence Day celebration on 1st of October 2014 at the Centenary City.
Actor, Kanyo O. Kanayo, who responded on behalf of other stakeholders at the meeting promised to present a position paper to the government in the next 10 days.
Meanwhile, reacting to the meeting, one of the bodies in Nollywood, Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP) has advised stakeholders to be weary of the current Federal Government's romance with the industry, stating that "such meetings with Nollywood is becoming a rather nauseating recurring decimal, which comes only during the build up to elections either at State or Federal levels, burial ceremonies, birthday parties, house-warming parties, child dedication and other forms of wasteful social ventures of politicians, where Nigerian otherwise A-list artistes are reduced to mere clappers and dancers."