A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Desmond Elliot, has urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to develop the entertainment sector to grow the country’s economy.
The lawmaker, also a Nollywood actor, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Monday that the sector had the potential to move the country out of recession, if properly harnessed.
Elliot said entertainment contributed a substantial percentage to the country’s GDP and could achieve more for the economy if there were deliberate policies to develop it.
Elliot said: “We all know that the fall in the international price of crude oil is taking its toll of the country`s economy and that is why we are having recession.
“The current situation would, however, have been avoided if we were running a diversified economy rather than the oil-dependent economy that we are having.
“That is why we need to turn to a sector like entertainment with enormous economic potential to grow the economy and move it out of recession.
“We need to take entertainment like big business like it is done in America, China, India and the United Kingdom.
“We need to support entertainment productions with funds. We need to support capacity building of practitioners; we need to create the right environment and build the infrastructure.
“A viable entertainment sector would not only boost forex inflow and grow the economy, it will also help to create jobs.”
The lawmaker said the state government was taking a number of steps to develop the entertainment sector to boost the state’s earnings.
According to Elliot, one of the steps is the plan by government to build mega cinemas across the three senatorial zones to revive the cinema culture and open additional window of income for entertainers.
He said the recent hosting of continental music awards like the All Africa Music Awards in the state was another way the government was supporting the growth of the sector.
Elliot said that the government had sponsored a number of film projects and was developing entertainment infrastructure across the different councils for the growth of the sector.