Respite seem to be on the way for filmmakers in Nigeria as the National Assembly moves to protect indigenous content in the movie industry.
Moving a motion on the floor of the House of Representatives in Abuja on Tuesday 30th May 2017, Hon. Oladipupo Olatunde Adebutu, Chairman, House Committee on Rural Development noted that the indigenous content of the Nigerian film industry was fast being eroded due to the rising trend of foreign language films being dubbed and re-voiced into Nigerian languages.
Adebutu, who represents Ikenne/Shagamu/Remo North Federal Constituency in Ogun State added that it was time to address foreign trends that devalue our mother-tongue skills and threatens the vision to transform Nigeria’s film industry from a creative one into a creative economy.
He further stated: “this practise undermines the domestic creative arts industry’s vision to document and express Nigerian cultural values and heritage as well as takes jobs away from Nigerians”.
Speaking later with the media in Abuja, Adebutu said Nigeria has a duty to protect the film industry and preserve the indigenous language and culture because it was a veritable unifying factor for social mobility and intercultural understanding.
He further posited the need to establish a standards organisation to, amongst other things, oversee the qualitative production and further protection of intellectual property.
It will be recalled that the Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria and the Conference of Indigenous Language Films Practitioners had recently protested on what they described as an onslaught of foreign language films being translated into our local languages utilising the Direct- to-home Pay TV Scheme.
Nigeria’s film industry which has received global recognition including from the Toronto Film Festival is said to contribute about $3.3bn to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).