Veteran Nollywood Actor cum producer, Abubakar Yakubu has called on the government to show support for Nollywood especially in the areas of infrastructures, conducive enabling environment, international co- production treaties and effective laws against piracy.
This, he stated would enhance the prospects of Nollywood winning the Academy Awards and in turn transform the status of the Nigeria film industry, creating wealth for the country and satisfaction for actors.
Yakubu who hails from Kogi State is credited with the shooting of “Inikpi” an indigenous Igala film. He is contesting for the post of secretary general of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, in its forth coming elections.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen ahead of the AGN elections in Abuja yesterday, Yakubu said Nollywood has been a story of progressive growth in all ramifications.
“From technical quality to human capacity development even story treatment and all. We are evolving,” he said.
The Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee recently selected Genevieve Nnaji’s LionHeart to represent Nigeria for the 2020 Academy Award for Best International Film!
The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences(AMPAS), the awards are an international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements.
Yakubu however decried poor government support to a sector that has brought much international reckoning for the country noting that the industry is a privately driven.
“Government must participate in creating the enabling environment for [Nollywood] to thrive. Entertainment industry is a money spinner for any serious government. Apart from supporting the tourism industry, there are other deliverables in form of taxes both in local and foreign exchange,” he said.
According to the Yakubu, the motivation for contesting in the election is to help develop a professional association for the future generations.
“I am an experienced administrator trained in personnel management and capacity development. My ambition is to help build a sustainable structure for the Guild. Having worked closely with other developed Actors Association like the British Equity and Americans SAG-AFTRA, one is challenged to bequeath the legacy to the up and coming ones,” he said.
Outside the Nollywood environment, Yakubu is an Ambassador and Secretary of the African Children Talent Discovery Foundation in Nigeria involved in discovering, harnessing and empowering talents in youths and children.
The recent 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 2019) meeting saw the NGO successfully participating in a site event.
“We have always been part of the UN family where we contribute our quota to global development. It feels nice to play at that level of helping to implement developmental ideas in humanity globally,” Yakubu said.