Nollywood actor cum politician, Desmond Elliot has called for ban on foreign films by the federal government to enable the growth of the Nigerian Movie Industry. .
Elliot made this remark during an interview with Nigerian cable television channel, HipTV. The Nollywood star, who also doubles as a lawmaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, wants the government to be intentional about the film industry and handle it “like you’re importing rice” by placing a ban on foreign content.
“First they need to create an enabling environment for this industry to thrive. Secondly, they need to consciously, intentionally focus on building the industry. Treat it like you’re importing rice. Okay, you know, so you ban all foreign content. You know, make it difficult for foreign content to come in, so your local content can grow.”
Elliot is a strong proponent of the diversification of Nigeria’s economy through the film industry. In 2017, he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the film sector had the potential to move the country out of recession if properly harnessed.
“That is why we need to turn to a sector like entertainment with enormous economic potential to grow the economy and move it out of recession.” He said.
The Nigerian film industry, popularly known as Nollywood is the second-largest film industry in the world by volume. Nollywood films have a large following in Africa and among Africans around the world. Nollywood generates $590 million annually.
Elliot is one of Nollywood’s leading actors. Has appeared in over two hundred films including Men Who Cheat, Yahoo Millionaire and Atlanta. In 2008 Elliot co-produced and co-directed the movie “Reloaded” which received 3 nominations at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2009.
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