Ahead of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Africa Movie Academy Awards, which will take place on April 26, 2014 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the governor of the state, Hon. Seriake Dickson, on Saturday at the Civic Centre in Lagos mobilised private sector leaders to support the prestigious pan-African awards.
The governor, who also used the occasion to regale the captains of industry present at the event about his achievements in office in the last two years, said his administration wants to develop the economy of the state beyond oil.
Dickson mentioned tourism as a major economic driver for the non-oil sector economy.
He said: “With AMAA, which is our flagship entertainment event platform and other entertainment events we are promoting in the state, Bayelsa is gradually becoming the entertainment headquarters of Nigeria.
“Investment in AMAA is an investment into the future of Nigeria.
“We are committed to promoting Nigerian talents in movie, music and fashion.
“Bayelsa is building a film city where filmmakers from all over the world can come and shoot their films.
“We are also developing our tourism infrastructures to make Bayelsa the leisure capital of Nigeria.
“I appeal to leaders of private sectors to support AMAA and support our efforts in Bayelsa to enhance the capacity of our youths in the creative industry.”
Earlier in her speech, the Director General of the Bayelsa State Tourism Board, Ebizi Brown, urged private sector investors to come and invest in the state as it has generous incentives for investors.
Brown said the history of AMAA with Bayelsa in the last 10 years has been one of partnership for development.
In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer of the awards, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, recalled the history of AMAA with Bayelsa State since 2005 and thanked former Governor Diepriye Alamyesigha and President Goodluck Jonathan for their support for AMAA from inception till date.
Anyiam-Osigwe said: “I want to appeal to Corporate Nigeria to support us in the creative industry.
“Nigerian young men and women should be supported to grow.
“Nollywood and our music are great cultural exports from Nigeria that world has embraced and respected.
“Three presidents who came for Nigeria Centenary event few days ago in Abuja said Nollywood and our music are hugely popular around the world and in their countries.
“There is money to be made in this sector with right support and investment.
“By sponsoring AMAA and other events in the industry, you will get return on your investment.
“AMAA, working with our media partners, has developed multi-channel media platforms that will give your brand right exposures pan-Africa and globally.”
Ladi Balogun, who presided over the sponsors’ dinner as the Chairman, was assisted by Tunde Ayeni, the Chairman of Skye Bank Plc, who called his friends such as Albert Okumagba, the Managing Director of BGL; Timi Alaibe, former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission; George Anyiam-Osigwe, the Group Executive Director of Anyiam Osigwe Group; King A.J. Turner; and host of others to commit to sponsoring the awards this year with various sums of money. Arik Air, Cool FM and Ebony Life TV also pledged to sponsor.
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