The Federal Government has called for closer collaboration with the United States in the field of creative and culture industry.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the call in Abuja, yesterday, said the call was necessary especially in improving the quality of Nollywood movies.
Speaking when he received the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs,Ms. Akunna Cook, Mohammed, in a statement issued by the Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, said:”Of immediate importance to us in Nigeria at this time is how to continue to improve the quality of our films. As you know, Nollywood, as our film industry is known, is among the top three in the world. Yes, the quality of our films has improved incrementally over the years, but we can still benefit from the rich experience of America’s Hollywood, the undisputed world best.
“Apart from improving the quality of our production through technical training and exchanges, we will also like to learn a few tricks in the area of animation.”
Mohammed further said the Federal Government was working hard to reposition the Creative and Culture Industry, which has been badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, because of the immense contribution of the sector to the nation’s GDP.
“The Creative and Culture Industry is a key sector of the Nigerian economy, contributing 17.3percent to the country’s GDP in 2020 and, together with other seemingly unrelated sectors, providing between 10 and 15million jobs. Indeed, the Creative and Culture Industry is the biggestemployer of labour after Agriculture,” Mohammed also said.
The minister disclosed some important interventions made by the Federal Government in the Creative Industry to include the N22.9billion Central Bank of Nigeria Creative Industry Financing Initiatives; the N1billion Bank of Industry Nollyfund; another N1billion Bank of Industry Fashion and Beauty Fund; N-Power Creative and Project Act Nollywood Federal Grant.
Mohammed added that the government was still exploring other avenues to further give the sector a lift.
In her remarks, Cook said during her three-day visit to Nigeria, she focused on the developments in the Creative Industry and Digital Technology.
She said Nigeria’s Creative Industry has proven to be not only a driver of the economy but a significant player in changing the world’s perception about Africa, particularly Nigeria.
Cook hailed the Nigerian Government for refurbishing the National Theatre, Lagos which, she said, will create an eco-system and provide phenomenal opportunities for the stakeholders in the Creative Industry.
She pledged the readiness of the US Government to collaborate with Nigeria towards boosting the Creative Industry in the country.
Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard; and Commander of USACE’s North Atlantic Division, Brigadier General Thomas Tickner; have visited Kainji Air Force Base to perform the ground-breakingof the final phase of the $38million construction project for the A-29 Super Tucanos’ support facilities.
They were joined by the Deputy Director for the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate, Ronald Taylor; and senior Nigerian Air Force officials.
A statement by the US Mission in Nigeria, made available to The TIDE IN Port Harcourt, said the construction site would be the location of several critical facilities, including sunshades to house the A-29 Super Tucanos, munitions assembly and storage areas, and an annex for the A-29 flight simulator.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) North Atlantic Division is overseeing the construction of this necessary infrastructure for the operation and maintenance of the A-29 Super Tucanos and their accompanying munitions.
While touring the site, Leonard explained the importance of this ground-breaking, saying “We are not just here today to celebrate a milestone in airbase construction, but a milestone in a partnership between our two countries.
“This monumental undertaking of the Nigerian Air Force through the A-29 Super Tucano program reflects the work ethic, ingenuity, and dedication of the Nigerian people.”
In his remarks, Tickner, echoed Leonard’s sentiment, saying “We are proud to partner with the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Air Force, and the Nigerian Air Force to deliver support facilities for their new fleet of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.
“These projects are a prime example of USACE’s unique ability to apply its engineering expertise in ways that build partner capacity, strengthen strategic relationships, and bolster Nigeria’s security capability.
“This construction project is a part of the historic $500million U.S. foreign military sale to Nigeria, which also includes the delivery of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircrafts, munitions, and world-class training.
“This is the largest U.S. foreign military sales case in Sub-Saharan Africa and demonstrates the strong partnership between the United States and Nigeria.
“The United States is committed to assisting Nigeria in its efforts to create a more peaceful, prosperous nation”, he said.
Publish Details Of Parties’ Financial Transactions, SERAP Tasks INEC
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to publish the reports of parties’ accounts and balance sheets.
The body also wants details of the guidelines and steps being taken to prevent vote buying in the forthcoming elections and to prosecute vote buyers and other electoral offenders.
In a letter, yesterday, SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, noted that citizens have the right to know about the accounts and financial transactions of parties.
He said transparency and accountability would curb the influence of money in politics, promote a level playing field, and remove the risks to the independence of political actors and would-be public office holders.
The organisation insisted it is both immoral and illegal to pay citizens to vote for a particular political party or standard-bearer.
“Unpunished cases of vote buying would continue to undermine good governance, the rule of law, moral values, as well as hinder citizens’ participation in elections”, it said.
SERAP told INEC that when candidates buy votes, there are possibilities that they will disregard for democratic rules.
“Vote buying and related electoral offences encourage poor governance and weaken citizens’ capacity to hold their elected officials accountable for their actions.”
SERAP charged the electoral umpire to collaborate with anti-corruption agencies to ensure the effective prosecution of any outstanding cases of vote buying and related electoral offences.
The letter urged INEC to act within 14 days or face legal actions that would compel it to comply with the request.
RSG Recommits To Engaging Youth Positively
The Rivers State Government has said it was committed to engaging youths positively and empowering them.
The State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike, stated this during the opening ceremony of the Uplifting African Youth Through Basketball Programme in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Wike said the issues of youths and young adults were very important to his administration, while expressing delight that youths were being built up with critical life skills in sports, communication, and entrepreneurial leadership skills needed for Rivers State, Nigeria, and Africa.
“This administration is very interested in youth engagements, we want to make sure that our youths are very inclusive, participate, play their roles, and be well mentored and well-motivated to be able to fulfill all of their potentials in life, educationally, in sports, morally and so we are here to support”, the governor stressed.
The governor expressed gratitude to the leader of the Organised Basketball Network (OBN) and his team, for their efforts and the support of the US Consulate, while urging them to visit the Real Madrid Football Academy in Port Harcourt, to appreciate the efforts of the state government in the area of youth engagement.
The youth friendly governor, said “I want to encourage our youths that as you walk together in the next two days, you would learn how to be tolerant with one another and to know that gender based violence is totally not acceptable and that it is inhumane, I know it is just two days, but a lot can be achieved that can be life time impactful”.
In her remarks, the United States Consulate’s Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Jennifer Foltz said the United States and Nigeria have very special and close relationship, adding that the Consulate feels this was the right time to do a sports programme.
“Sports diplomacy is part of what we do, it is part of some ways we build stronger relationships between our two countries, sports brings people together, and even if you do not speak the same language you can still play sports together”, Foltz stressed.
Earlier, the leader of the Organised Basketball Network, Obinna Ekezie said OBN was a platform founded for the development of grassroots basketball in Nigeria and Africa with a mission to develop the next generation of world-class African student athletes and consistently create opportunities to help them advance their careers overseas, through basketball scholarship.
He said the project uplifting African youths was a project to provide inclusion and opportunities for under privileged talented African youths to learn important life skills through basketball.
PDP Assembly, Reps Candidates Emerge In Rivers
Candidates for the House of Representatives and House of Assembly have emerged following the conduct of primaries by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, yesterday.
According to the official results, Solomon Bob emerged the party’s candidate for Abua/Odual/Ahoada East Federal Constituency while Victor Obuzor emerged the candidate for Ahoada West/Ogba/Egbema Federal Constituency.
Also, Awaji Inombek Abiante won the ticket for Andoni/Opobo Federal Constituency, just as Boma Goodhead returned elected for the Asari-Toru/Akuku-Toru Federal Constituency while Cyril Godwin Hart won Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency ticket.
The results further show that Felix Nwaeke emerged the candidate of the PDP for Eleme/Tai/Oyigbo Federal Constituency, with Boniface Emerengwa emerging winner for Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency.
In the same vein, Kelechi Nwogu cruised to victory as the candidate for Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency while Dumnamene Dekor won Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency ticket.
Similarly, Kingsley Ogundu Chinda emerged the House of Representatives candidate for Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, while Alabo Victor Tamunomiekaye won Okrika/Ogu/Bolo Federal Constituency ticket.
Chima Boms won Port Harcourt Federal Constituency 2 while Barrister Blessing Amadi is the winner of the primary election for Port HarcourtFederal Constituency 1.
For the Rivers State House of Assembly primary, Hon Dominic Iderima picked the ticket for Abua/Odual, Mrs Queen Williams picked the ticket for Ahoada East 1,Rt Hon Ehe Edison emerged the candidate for Ahoada East 2, while Hon Sokari Goodboy Sokari cruised to victory for Ahoada West.
Hon Major Jack won the ticket for Akuku-Toru 1, Hon Opuende Lolo Isaiah is the candidate for Akuku-Toru 2, Hon Ofiks Kabangs Christopher grabbed the ticket to represent Andoni, whileHon Tekena Wellington Granville got the ticket for Asari-Toru 1.
Also, a serving member, Enemi Alabo George easily won the ticket for Asari-Toru 2, just as Hon Victor Oko Jumbo got the nod to represent Bonny, while Hon Abbey Peter emerged the candidate for Degema.
Hon Igwe Obey Aforji emerged the PDP candidate for Eleme, Emohua will be represented by Mrs Justina Emeji, Hon Onwuka Ignatiuswon the ticket to represent Etche 1, while Hon Chimezie Nwankwor is the candidate for Etche 2.
The present member representing Gokana, Hon Dumle Maol, will retain his ticket for the seat, Prince Lemchi Nyeche emerged the candidate for Ikwerre 1, Mrs Barile Nwakoh won the ticket for Khana1, while Barrister Dinebari Loolo got the ticket for Khana 2.
In Obio/Akpor1, Hon Amaewhule Martin Chike was returned, just as Mrs Emilia Lucky Amadi emerged the candidate for Obio/Akpor 2, and Frankline Nwabochi will fly PDP flag for Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni1.
In the same token, Mrs Nkemuika Ezekwe will fight for Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni2 seat on the platform of the PDP, Davids Arnold Okobiriari won the ticket for Ogu/Bolo, a serving member, Somiari Steward Linda will return in Okrika, while Nwankwo Sylvanus emerged for Omuma seat.
Orubienimigha Adolphus grabbed the ticket for Opobo/Nkoro,Hon Gerald Oforji emerged for Oyigbo, Solomon Wami won the ticket for Port Harcourt1,Hon Tonye Smart Adoki will return for Port Harcourt2, Hon Azeru Opara emerged for Port Harcourt3, and Ngbar Bernard Baridamue won the ticket for Tai.
By: Nelson Chukwudi & Reward Akwu
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