The number three citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator, Abubakar Bukola Saraki has magnanimously given the sum of N5m to ailing actors in the motion picture industry.
The Senate President who made the donation on Wednesday when members of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) led by Mr. Ejezie Emeka Rollas paid him a courtesy call at his Lagos residence showered encomiums on the doggedness, tenacity and determination of the practitioners to make the industry great.
President, Actors Guild of Nigeria, Mr. Ejezie Emeka Rollas briefed Saraki about the necessity of setting up of the AGN foundation with the sole mandate of generating a Five Hundred Million Naira endowment (N500m) fund for ailing actors and also serves as a medium to give back to the fans (community) by engaging in community development project.
Rollas said: “Veterans who have contributed to the development of the industry most times do not have anything to fall back on after so long number of years of service. Some move on to other businesses or sectors while some faces varnish with time. In the recent past the guild have lost prominent veteran actors to serious illnesses due to certain medical conditions which could have been averted if there was a medium or platform set aside to harness the strength of the association to fund medical treatment of our own or a source for funding from philanthropist or Nigerians to help rescue their legends.
Actors like Enebeli Elebuwa, Justus Esiri, Arshely Nwosu, Dave lhesie, Sam Loco Efe, Muna Obiekwe, Peter Bunor, Prince James Uche, and host of others have been lost due to certain medical conditions and whose souls are resting in the bosom of the Lord. Recently we lost Chike Osuji in Owerri! He will be laid to rest this Friday, September 13 in Awaka in Imo state. There was a minute silence for late Chike Osuji.
Making his remark, Saraki said: “Let me thank the president for bringing us together. You have made a lot of us very proud. You have worked hard to support our government. You have shown truly that we have great capacity. Anywhere else in the world being surrounded by the stars I am seeing here, any politician would not let the opportunity slip away. Because we don’t recognize your talent and the kind of people we have, I would like to change that not because of you but because the country needs it. This is a decent industry. The economy will not grow by chance. But, it’s my belief that if duly supported.
Nollywood will not only be number one in the world but will create job opportunities, increase the country’s GDP and reduce poverty, among several other advantages. Hollywood is great today because the American government supported and funded the industry. Same can be possible for Nollywood.”
Excited former President of the guild and chairman AGN Foundation fund raising committee, veteran actor, Segun Arinze thanked the senate president for the kind gesture and promised that his donation would be used judiciously for the benefit of ailing actors.
Other actors who accompanied Rollas include Former AGN president, Ejike Asiegbu; Former AGN president, Zack Orji; Chiwetalu Agu, Wash Waziri Hong; Uma Shehu; Ebele Okaro; Mona Lisa Chinda Coker; Ayo Binta Mogaji;Former President of Association of Movie Producers (AMP) Zik Zulu Okafor; Lilian Bach; Ronnie Dikko (member of committee and S.A.to National President on AGN Conference); Nkech Nnaji; Chita Agwu Jonhson; Mirabel Etuk; Benedict Johnson; Prince Ifeanyi Dike (Chairman BoTAGN); Frank Dallas (National PRO); St. Maradonna M Johnson (National Treasurer) among others.