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21 Jul 2017

Lai Mohammed Knocked over Ban on Foreign Music Production

President Muhammadu Buhari's minister has been criticised for the proposed limitation of the production of movies and music videos in a piece titled 'Lai's Laughable Idea'.
Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is a man with lofty ideas but lacks the cognitive capacity to formulate those ideas into reasonable government policies.

Making a pronouncement in government is not the same thing as talking to your kids at home. I guess Mohammed doesn’t understand the distinction.

Laudable as the idea of discouraging people in the entertainment industry from shooting videos abroad is, the threat of prosecution against them only shows a government that possesses a dictatorial approach and is desperate to be perceived as working.

Currently, the entertainment industry is the third largest sector in the Nigerian economy after oil and gas and telecommunications (the banking sector services both industries so I don’t wish to reckon with it in this discussion).It is the singular greatest employer of labour- mostly youths in the country today with its very long forward and backward linkages.

Evidently, it isn’t out of line for government to desire to harness this huge industry towards boosting its tourism potential and improving the perception of citizens towards the country and its government.

The APC government did not suddenly go bereft of ideas; these same entertainers were those they held to lavish dinners so as to sing the ‘Change’ mantra to high heavens during their campaign. I guess now that they are in power, the mode of relationship has to change.

India has one of the largest movie industries in the world today due largely to government backing. Hollywood has a replica of the White House where presidential movie roles are shot including granting their film makers unrestricted access to several government facilities and classified documents.

Perhaps, you did not know that it is forbidden to go close to Aso Rock if you don’t have sufficient security clearance. It is even forbidden to take pictures around the Villa if you are not a licensed press man.

So, the federal capital city is not accessible as a tourist attraction to its citizen. Think about it, do you even have a mental image of what the Aso Rock looks like?

So, in essence, we have a government that is shielded from its own people the same way it has been during the military era.

-Culled from The PUNCH

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