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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Stake holders react as Govt releases US$200m Entertainment Fund

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The dust raised over the announcement of  US$200, 0 00,000 (grant for the entertainment industry may have finally settled, as government announced during the week, the release of the funds.
The Honourable Minister of Finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who confirmed the provision of Special Entertainment Fund which has since been released to the Bank of Industry (BoI).
The bank,  according to our source has been appointed the custodian of the Fund, while the Lagos Business School will provide entrepreneurial capacity training for beneficiaries of the Fund.
Application to access the funds accordingly opens on January 17, 2011 and borrowing will attract a single digit interest rate.
And to make the funds accessible to interested applicants, the bank has a new site http://www.boinigeria.com in place and advise would be applicants to visit the website.
At the 30the anniversary of the Silverbird group, the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan  shocked the audience especially members of the entertainment community with the announcement of  US$200,000,000 funds for the entertainment industry.
The furore that greeted the announcement few days later was such that some stakeholders who feared they may be short changed cried wolves even government was yet to announce modalities for disbursing the funds.
Reacting to the news, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) President, Segun Arinze said the news was a welcome development pointing that the decision of officials of the ministry of finance to hand pick a few individuals to a meeting on a matter concerning the entire entertainment industry was suspect.
“What the ministry ought to have done, was to invite all the rellevant arms of the industry to that round table, after all we all have vested interest in the business.
They can be forgiven now that the fund is a reality. The next thing to do is for the bank to set up a check system that will discourage people who borrow and don’t pay back,” Mr. Arinze stated.
Delta State Commissioner of Youth Development, an actor and a stake holder, Mr. Richard Mofe -Damijo in a telephone interview was conservative with his words.
“When the President made the announcement, I was excited but that’s as far as it goes. I need to understand the modalities, know the consultants advising on the project and the criteria that requires one to access the funds” were all he could volunteer.
Playwright and producer, Dr. Ola Balogun was ignorant of the development, saying “ I have not been following the event, but as soon as I have more information at my disposition, I will certainly get back to you”.

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