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President Jonathan Makes a Call to Movie Producers to Encourage Farming



The Wikipedia reveals that Agriculture provided employment for 70% of Nigeria’s population. Imagine a Nigeria where over 70% of her population had jobs for themselves today we have a poverty rate of 67% which brings us to 112 Million Nigerians who live below the poverty line of $1.25 a day. How sad that 112 Million ... Continue Reading

The Wikipedia reveals that Agriculture provided employment for 70% of Nigeria’s population. Imagine a Nigeria where over 70% of her population had jobs for themselves today we have a poverty rate of 67% which brings us to 112 Million Nigerians who live below the poverty line of $1.25 a day. How sad that 112 Million Nigerians cannot afford about 200 Naira daily? What have we done to ourselves? Why have we so focused on oil and relegated other sectors of the economy to the background?

America has surplus endowments of oil in Texas, but they are not drilling the ground to explore oil, yet they are the richest nation in the world, as a matter fact America has 1, 202,500 farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers, which means that out of the population of over 300 million Americans, only 1,202,500 people which means less than 1% of the people feed the entire nation, and other nations, as America is a major exporter of Agricultural products. Can you believe this? Emphatically, only over 1 million people out of 300 million people in America feed the entire USA and even have more than enough to export to other countries.

How come America is not touching the huge crude deposits in Texas? How come just an infinitesimal fraction of Americans feed the whole nation and even beyond? Why are they getting it right? Simply because they are not underestimating the power of Agriculture which by the way is a major industry in the US. Don’t they have oil? But they don’t rely on oil? Or allow it shift their attention away from other sectors.

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday in Abuja urged movie producers in the country to assist government in encouraging the youth to take to farming. Jonathan made the call when a delegation of movie artistes and producers, under the aegis of Legends of Nollywood, visited him at the Presidential Villa.

He said that they could do that by portraying farming in a positive way in their movies to raise the interest of young Nigerians to it. Jonathan said agriculture in the country had gone beyond poor rural farmers working with hoes and cutlasses as portrayed in many Nollywood movies.

“Nollywood should endeavour to represent the farmer as someone with value; they should begin to present farming differently. “We have even come up with the National School Agriculture Programme to make our school children know that farming these days is not about tilling with hoes or felling trees with axes. “We want them to know that it is about using tractors and other modern technologies.

“We have medical doctors, lawyers and engineers who are into farming. “Nollywood is what the young people watch so much. If you now try to change their psyche about farming, it will go viral. “So, this is my request to you, and government will assist those who would want to work on films in this area.’’

The President also appealed to television station owners in the country to adhere to the National Broadcasting Commission’s (NBC) code on local and foreign television contents. He made the appeal after the leader of the delegation, Mr Paul Obazele, raised concern that most television stations now prefer foreign contents to local ones.

He reminded the Nollywood actors of their duty as promoters and documenters of local culture and tradition and urged them not to sacrifice that duty on the alter of profit making. The President said government would use all available means, including persuasion, to get them to do the right thing. Jonathan said he welcomed the idea of building a Hall of Fame in Abuja to honour famous and illustrious individuals who brought glory to the country.

The president, who said that he had been nursing such idea since his days as Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, said that government would come up with one. Jonathan told the delegation that government was also considering building a “Hall of Shame” to blacklist those involved in acts of dishonour. He commended Nollywood actors for bringing pride to the nation, adding that government would continue to support them.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr Paul Obazele, said the delegation was at the villa to present the award of Grant Patriarch of Nollywood to the President for his legendary support to the industry. He told the President that Nollywood stars had been nursing the idea of building a Hall of Fame in Abuja to honour famous individuals who brought glory to the country.

He said no government in the history of Nigeria had demonstrated genuine political will to develop the Nollywood industry like the Jonathan administration. Obazele recalled the role played by Jonathan in the evolution and growth of the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) since his days as Deputy Governor of Bayelsa.

He also commended the President for the recent award and disbursement of financial grants to the industry. The actor pledged the commitment of the industry to the cause of nation building. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that highpoint of the visit was the conferment of the Grant Patriarch of Nollywood award on Jonathan. On the delegation were Zack Orji, Larry Coldsweat, Alex Osifo, Patience Ozokwor popularly known as Mama G, and other notable Nollywood stars. (NAN)

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