• Governor, Mo Abudu, Omoni Oboli, others meet on cinemas reopening
• CEAN: “We’re ready to open Cinemas anytime”
The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday reiterated his administration’s commitment to collaborate with the creative industry, saying that his government will do everything possible to ensure that the sector thrives in the state.
The governor stated this 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 government is mindful of the economic impacts of the covid-19 lockdown on the entertainment industry particularly the cinema sector, promising to work with the association to achieve a win-win situation.
Representatives of CEAN during the meeting, expressed concerns about their sector, appealing to Governor Sanwo-Olu to reopen the cinemas and open up the sector for business.
They promised to adhere strictly to the laid down COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Speaking on behalf of the association, Mr. Moses Babatope assured that the cinema owners are ready to reopen.
He said: “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.”
The association also requested that the governor set up a film office whose function would include liaising with foreign investors while also serving as a major hub for the film industry in Lagos.
A film maker and one of the participants at the meeting, Omoni Oboli appealed to Sanwo-Olu for tax waivers.
He decried that no one in the film industry has earned a revenue in the past six months.
“Mr. Governor, 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 office to help our industry.”
Responding, Sanwo-Olu assured the film industry experts that he would ensure that government continues to protect their interest, saying he is a new convert having seen the level of creativity and economic importance of the sector.
His words: “We would 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.”
Sanwo-Olu vowed to look into all the requests made and return to them in due course.
Others present at the meeting is filmmaker and television host, Mosunmola Abudu, otherwise known as Mo Abudu, who moderated the meeting.Follow us on social media