Former Ogun State Governor Otunba Gbenga Daniel has urged the federal government to take over and adequately fund the film village established in Ososa by the late doyen of Nigerian theater, Chief Hubert Ogunde.
He stated that it was crucial for the government to reposition the country’s film and entertainment industry for optimal revenue creation and maximum advantages for all residents, emphasizing that the creative sector remains a currently untapped goldmine.
Daniel, the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Ogun East, addressed an empowerment program organized as part of his ward-to-ward visit to the Odogbolu Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, Ogun State is Nigeria’s top exporter of entertainers and remains the entertainment capital of the world.
He expressed optimism that, with proper backing from the federal government, the film and entertainment industry would inevitably contribute to creating additional jobs and, as a result, drive the country’s economic growth and development.
The former governor recounted how the late Ogunde, who belonged from Ososa in Odogbolu Local Government Area, played a crucial pioneering role and transformed the profession of theatre arts in Nigeria, adding that Nollywood can be traced back to his legendary achievements.
He stated, “Ogun State continues to be the hub of global entertainment. The new sound from the other side being celebrated worldwide comes from us. While we are happy to share these talents with the rest of the world, they belong to us. Talk of Olamide, D’banj, Kizz Daniel, Laycon, Fireboy DML, Asa, Wande Coal, and Reminisce, amongst others, come from here”.
“As we led the 70s, 80s, and 90s with the likes of Ebenezer Obey, Fela, Haruna Ishola, Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, Sir Shina Peters, Adewale Ayuba, Salawa Abeni, Batile Alake, Tope Alabi, so are we leading the new age. But not just in music; Nollywood today is championed by the likes of Tunde Kelani, Yemi Shodimu, and numerous people from this state”.
“Ogun State, therefore, should be given special consideration in the development of the entertainment industry. The National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC) should take over the film village in Ososa for proper funding.”
He added that one of his goals in addressing the National Assembly is to encourage the Federal Government to take an interest in and assist the development of the Ososa film community.
He noted that Hollywood and Bollywood have generated amazing income for the United States and India, respectively, and added that Nigeria’s Nollywood if properly developed, might also generate enormous profits.
The senatorial candidate pledged to support legislation and policies that would make the entertainment business more dynamic and productive in order for it to reach its full potential.
He stated, “The biggest thing that is pushing the American economy is Hollywood, the biggest thing that is pushing the Indian economy is Bollywood. Now we have Nollywood and they are doing very well. Therefore, all this problem of unemployment in the land, we can make use of the inherent talents that we have in Ogun State.
Daniel reaffirmed his support for local government autonomy, noting that it would make the nation’s third tier of government fully functional and boost grassroots development.
He stated that Part of what he intends to accomplish in the Senate is to push the measure to trigger the requirement that local governments be granted financial autonomy. ” We can expect our Local Government Chairman to function when the local government has sufficient funds,” he said.
In a related development, Daniel stated that the government should prioritize the provision of subsidized inputs for farmers and that he would use his time in the Senate to campaign for food subsidies.
Daniel delivered these words in Ijebu Ode while hosting hundreds of farmers. The Ogun East Farmers Association had paid him a visit to express their support for his senatorial ambitions and provide the agenda they want him to advance once he is elected.
“Part of what we will do in Abuja is to push the Federal Government to come and support the emancipation of the film village that we have in Ososa in Odogbolu Local Government.”
The former governor of Ogun State stated that all levels of government should promote investments in the state’s agriculture to improve local food production and combat unemployment.
Daniel also utilized the occasion to urge farmers in the local government and other voters to support Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.
Daniel toured various areas in the local government, including Imosan, Imodi, Okun Owa, Odogbolu, Aiyepe, Ososa, Idowa, Ibefun, Ilado, Mobalufon, Ala/Igbile, Ibido, Omu, and Ogbo, soliciting significant support for all APC candidates in the upcoming elections.
A significant highlight of the ward-to-ward tour is the raffle, in which a farm tractor, a branded Nissan sedan, a 240-liter deep freezer, and a 2.5KVA generator were won as the grand prize, first prize, second prize, and third prize, respectively.
Over 500 additional things, including sewing machines and grinding machines, were won, and 15 students from the local government who were financially disadvantaged were awarded scholarships.