The pioneer president of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Lari Williams, has called on the Federal Government to create an autonomous Ministry of Entertainment to improve the nation’s economy.
Williams made the call on Thursday while speaking on the theme; ‘The current state of our profession and the practitioners’, held at the National Arts Theatre, Lagos.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the programme was organised by Lari Williams Play House, in conjunction with Kurious Academy.
Williams noted that the entertainment industry was huge and diverse and as such the sector should be separated and allowed to stand on its own as a full-fledged ministry.
“The major problem the entertainment industry is facing today, which is obviously hindering its growth, is that we don’t have an autonomous ministry to run the industry.
“It is, therefore, high time we call on the government to pay adequate attention to the entertainment industry and make it autonomous.
“The entertainment industry, if properly handled by well trained administrators, could bring the desired turnaround that will increase the socio-economic lot of this country,” he said.
Williams also urged the government to capture the least member of the industry in the minimum wage, adding, “actors must be paid for every role, even a ‘waka-pass’ in a movie”.
The veteran actor added that the programme was also a kickoff of his four-state public lecture activities to mark 50 years of excellent performance on the stage and screen.
Meanwhile, Osagie Okedigun, Assistant Director of Lari Williams Play House, told NAN that Williams would visit four chapters of ollywood beginning from Lagos to Cross River, Akwa Ibom and then Benue.
Okedigun said Williams was embarking on the tour to rub minds with members of the chapters on challenges affecting their growth, while sharing his wealth of experience with them.
“Chief Williams is passionate about the growth and successes of the Guild, and being a veteran with 50 years experience, he has decided to liaise with them,” Okedigun said.
The programme was attended by students of Lari Williams Play House, who made presentation of poems, while Williams entertained the audience on the drum.
NAN reports that Williams, who was the first actor to perform on Zuma Rock, Abuja had featured in series of Nigerian Soap Opera and movies such as Village Headmaster, Mirror in the Sun, Witch Doctor of the living dead, among others.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi
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