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Tinubu, ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ and the power of creative economy



By Temitope Ajayi

While extolling Funke Akindele, the Nollywood filmmaker for her recent box office accomplishment, President Bola Tinubu lauded the growing contribution of the Nigerian creative industry to the economic growth of the country. He acknowledged its pivotal place as not just a medium for artistic expression but also a source of enormous soft power and viable cultural export.

In his effusive praise of the industry; creative ingenuity, and enterprising spirit of young Nigerians, President Tinubu said that, “the creative industry is one of the high-employment sectors, providing jobs for our able and talented youths. It is an industry that is crucial to my administration. I salute Nigerians for their enduring support and patronage of home-grown creative efforts. We will provide the conducive environment for the industry to thrive further.”

On the heels of that generous presidential endorsement, it is worthy to say that regardless of what anyone says, Funke Akindele has cracked the code for successful Box Office run in Nigeria. Her films, till date, have remained the highest grossing in cinema runs in Nigeria’s film industry.

Her recent flick, ‘A Tribe Called Judah,’ grossed over a billion naira in revenue, a landmark of no mean feat. The interesting twist to this number is the fact that within a month, Akindele’s film grossed an unprecedented amount in a country with 91 cinemas and 303 screens.

For clearer understanding, available data shows that as of 2022, China has 65,000 cinema screens followed by the United States (35,280), India (11,962) and the UK (3,402). It is easier to see the link between the number of screens for films and the material prosperity of Americans in Hollywood and Indians in Bollywood.

By comparison, English-speaking West African countries, excluding Nigeria, as at December 31, 2023, have 95 cinemas with 321 screens. Out of this number, Ghana has 4 cinemas with 18 screens.

For a country of Nigeria’s size and population, the third largest film producer after the United States and India, the paltry 303 screens reveal a huge opportunity for private sector investment, which the newly-created Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy is poised to drive.

Akindele’s ‘A Tribe Called Judah,’ was watched by film lovers in 71 cinemas across Nigeria during the holiday season. Despite these limited screens, the title still raked in N1.3 billion as at January 10, according to promoters.

It was not only Akindele’s ATCJ that recorded massive box office hit. During the same period, Toyin Abraham’s film, ‘Malaika’ grossed over N250 million, while ‘Ada Omo Daddy’ by Mercy Aigbe made over N120 million.

In a series of well-deserved commendations for her extraordinary achievements, some of Funke Akindele’s colleagues in the movie industry showered encomiums on her for blazing the trail in box office revenue. United Kingdom-based Nigerian filmmaker, Obi Emelonye praised Funke and her team:

“First of all, let me congratulate Funke Akindele and her team, including my brother and friend JideKene Achufusi. What they have achieved with ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ is unprecedented in our history. I don’t want to get bogged down in the crass argument whether the N1 billion plus figure is inflated, padded or not. The important thing is that the film has galvanized Nigerian cinema audiences.

“And if we are arguing about the billion marks, which is double what the previous record is, then we are talking uncharted territory here. For that Funke and her team deserve respect and praise. Whichever way you look at it; it is a great win for the industry that no one believed could make cinema work when we pioneered it 13 years ago. If Funke can do N1 billion with the number of cinemas in Nigeria today, just imagine the possibilities for our industry.”

Kunle Afolayan, award-winning Director and actor whose films are also known for their artistic and commercial success, attributed the runaway success of ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ to hard work.

”I congratulated her and the team when the film was released and encouraged people to watch it. She and her team really worked very hard with the promotion of the film,” Afolayan said.

Describing the recent commercial success of Nigerian films at the cinema as the ‘golden era,’ Group Deputy Managing Director of Filmhouse Group, Moses Babatope noted in a statement, “We are witnessing a golden era for Nigerian cinema, and Funke Akindele’s ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ reaching the 1 billion Naira mark is an indication that the creative industry despite the stiff competition from international streaming platforms, our local content continues to thrive, engaging audiences on a grand scale.”

If nothing else, the revenue from the three movies during the yuletide hints of huge potential for the industry. We can imagine what the industry can make by having just 1000 screens, not to talk of 3000 screens in Nigeria. The possibilities are truly huge for filmmakers and other players in the industry. This is apart from the multiplier effect on the economy.

With the right infrastructure; more collaboration among government; private sector players and the motion picture practitioners, Nigeria can actually produce billionaire and multimillionaire film makers and allied professionals like their counterparts in Hollywood. Funke Akindele and some of her colleagues have shown us that this is possible.

President Bola Tinubu understands the immense economic potentials of the creative industry as an enabler of wealth creation and growth. The current administration’s intense focus on the sector will significantly galvanize it as a major contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The decision of President Tinubu to establish a full Ministry to superintend over the creative industry was not by happenstance. It was borne out of deliberate planning and critical evaluation of the socio-economic importance of the sector to national development.

The good news is that the Minister in charge of the sector, Hannatu Musawa, has the full support of President Tinubu to expand the capacity of the industry as one of the main drivers of economic growth. The Minister is passionate too about activating sustainable and enduring growth in the creative industry. At a recent industry stakeholders’ meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima, where the Vice President revealed that the creative industry will benefit hugely from the $650million Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (I-DiCe) programme his office is supervising, an elated Musawa reinforced the Federal Government’s commitment to strengthen the sector and enable the professionals to achieve more.

“We want to create a conducive environment for you to operate the way you need to,” Musawa declared.

From all indications, the hard work of our creative professionals, backed by a conducive environment and sound policies provided by the present administration will unleash glad tidings for the sector this year and beyond.


Ajayi is Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity

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Ribadu to declare open workshop on 21st century policing



The National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, is billed to declare open a two-day workshop on “21st Century Policing: Capacity Building Techniques and Brand Management for Security Image Makers,” which begins on Wednesday 24 April, 2024 in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, will give the keynote address while Chief Executive Officer of Halogen Security Services, Chief Wale Olaoye, is the Special Guest of Honour.

The workshop is packaged by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), the training arm of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC), in collaboration with Fountain Bloom Limited, a Lagos-based strategy and development outfit.

The ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, SAN, will deliver the welcome address while the ACAN Provost, Prof. Olatunde Babawale, is the Chief Host.

Participants are drawn from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, the Police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Fire Service and registered private security organisations.

Resource persons who will deliver papers include Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Frank Mba; celebrated columnist and former Editor of PUNCH newspapers, Mr. Bola Bolawole; one-time Permanent Secretary, Lagos Television, Mr. Lekan Ogunbanwo and retired Director at the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa.

Papers will be delivered on the Challenges of Media Management and Public Affairs in Crisis and Emergency Situations; Crafting impactful Press Statements, Opinion articles and Speeches; Conference Organisation and Documentary Production for Optimum Publicity; Quality Assurance as Essential Element of News Copy; Sustaining audience Interest in Broadcast News and Documentary and Contents in Public Relations Question; Social Media and In-house Publication for Desired Effect.

The workshop will address critical aspects of the officers’ job schedule to further strengthen their work performance in accordance with the present administration’s policy objectives.

It will also sensitise participants to their duties and responsibilities in a democratic setting, with a view to reducing tension inherent in the interface with their various publics.

At the end of the workshop, participants would have had an improved understanding of image-making strategies, reputation management techniques, identity and personality interpersonal communication formulas, attitudinal change and behaviour modification patterns that will further enhance their capacity to interface with their various publics.


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ITF launches ‘SUPA’ initiative to empower five million Nigerian artisans



In a bid to enhance the skills and opportunities of Nigerian artisans, the    Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has introduced a groundbreaking initiative called “Skill-up Artisans (SUPA).”

The Director-General of ITF, Dr. Afiz Oluwatoyin Ogun unveiled the SUPA initiative yesterday during the organisation’s 2023 Annual Merit Award ceremony in Jos, Plateau State.

Dr. Ogun emphasised that SUPA will revolutionise the artisan sector by providing training, certification, and licensing to artisans across Nigeria, thereby improving their employability and standard of living.

This transformative program aims to upskill, license, and empower up to 5 million artisans within a year, offering them better prospects both locally and internationally.

The implementation of SUPA involves the comprehensive collation of data on Nigerian artisans, identifying areas where training is needed, and facilitating certification processes.

However, the initiative has already registered thousands of artisans, with ongoing efforts to reach out to more individuals interested in enhancing their skills.

One notable aspect of SUPA is the establishment of a dedicated call center, operational round-the-clock, to address inquiries from the public and provide essential information about the program.

Dr. Ogun emphasised that SUPA underscores the Nigerian government’s commitment to promoting economic development and uplifting the standard of living for citizens nationwide.

“It is intended to drive national development, ensure the availability of skilled artisanal workers for domestic industries, and create a sustainable pipeline for labour exports. It will equally boost the pool of local artisans with proficiency in diverse skills, among other benefits,” he mentioned.

The Director-General called on the state governments, the organised private sector, non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, and well meaning Nigerians to collaborate with the ITF in an effort to revitalise the Nigerian economy, especially in the area of SUPA.

On the implementation of skills intervention programs, Dogun pointed out that ITF has so far trained over 42,000 Nigerians who were empowered with start-up packs under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), Skills Training and Empowerment for the Physically Challenged (STEPP-C), Construction Skills Empowerment Program (CONSEP), N-BUILD, Project T-Max, Modular Skills Development, and Technical Skills Development Program (TSDP) in collaboration with the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).

He added that in the area of direct training and capacity development for MSMEs, the Fund implemented 565 scheduled and unscheduled training programs for 11,992 organisations from 908 organisations.

“In addition, we carried out performance and productivity improvement surveys for 48 companies and developed 35 training programs, of which 28 were implemented. Similarly, in appreciation of the importance of MSMEs to Nigeria’s economic growth, the Fund conducted monitoring and evaluation of MSMEs clinics for 241 participants and provided business support services and business needs assessments for 159 and 254 MSME operators, respectively.”

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Illegal arms: Kaduna Police seek collaboration with residents to end banditry



…Nabs notorious gun runners, recover firearms

By Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

Kaduna State Police Command has called on residents to remain vigilant and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the fight against illegal arms proliferation and criminal activities.

The Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State Command, CP Ali Audu Dabigi made the call in a statement issued to journalists in Kaduna on Monday by the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Mansur Hassan.

The statement said the command had arrested some notorious gun runners and recovered sophisticated weapons.

According to Hassan, the Command’s operatives acted on credible intelligence and intercepted one Alkali Danladi, a 45-year-old man of Ungwan Hayatu Village, Yarkasuwa, Lere LGA, who was suspected of engaging in the illegal supply of firearms to bandits, he was arrested while coming from Jos, Plateau State.

He said Mr. Danladi, during the interception was found to have concealed several prohibited firearms, including one fabricated AK-47 rifle, five fabricated revolver rifles, and two fabricated pistols. Additionally, working tools such as fliers, screwdrivers, spanners and as well as charms, were discovered in his possession.

“The Kaduna State Police Command reports a significant development in the ongoing efforts to curb crime within the state, with the arrest of a notorious gunrunner and the recovery of prohibited firearms.

“On April 4th 2024, at about 0600hrs, diligent police operatives, acting on credible intelligence, intercepted one Alkali Danladi, aged 45, of Ungwan Hayatu Village, Yarkasuwa, Lere LGA, at Tsurutawa Village along the Kaduna-Jos Highway. Mr. Danladi was suspected of engaging in the illegal supply of firearms to bandits. He was arrested while coming from Jos, Plateau State.

“During the interception, Mr. Danladi was found to have concealed several prohibited firearms, including one fabricated AK-47 rifle, five fabricated revolver rifles, and two fabricated pistols. Additionally, working tools such as fliers, screwdrivers, and spanners, as well as charms, were discovered in his possession.

“Further investigation led to the arrest of one Gayya Koddi, aged 40, of Bundu Dingi Village. However, two suspects are still at large.

“The Kaduna State Police Command, under the leadership of Commissioner of Police CP Ali Audu Dabigi, assures the public that efforts are ongoing to apprehend the remaining culprits.

“The CP also urges citizens to remain vigilant and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the fight against illegal arms proliferation and criminal activities,” he said.

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