Tony Okoroji and some experts in the entertainment industry on Wednesday said that the visit by President Emmanuel Macron of France to the Afrikan Shrine would further boost development it.
They said in separate interviews in Lagos that Macron’s visit was an indication of the positive impact that the nation’s creative industry would have on the international community.
The French President on Tuesday visited the Afrikan Shrine at Ikeja, Lagos State.
Mr Tony Okoroji, Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), said that the French had always been pathfinders in the innovation and preservation of the creative industry.
He said that most of the development in the intellectual property in Nigeria had come from the France.
Okoroji said that they understood the importance and depth of the entertainment industry; especially in the area of intellectual property and in preserving the cultural heritage of a country.
“Macron had to come all the way from Paris to let us know how important our creative institutions are in the preservation of our cultural identity as a people.
“I am not sure that any Nigerian leader has, before now, been to such a watershed venue.
“I hope that the relationship between the creative industries of the two nations will strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries,” he said.
Okoroji advised the nation’s leaders to take a cue from the French president’s interest in the creative sector by investing more in the sector and using it as a platform for national development.
Also, Emeka Rollas, President, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), commended Macron for creating time to visit the Afrikan Shrine; one of the oldest music relics in the country.
Rollas said that Macron’s visit would impact positively on the development of the entertainment industry and encourage young entertainers in the industry.
`This will improve the psychology of our citizens, giving them hope that venturing into the entertainment industry is not a waste of time.
“Most Nigerians in the past used to treat practitioners of the entertainment industry as lay-about and people who did not want to acquire Western education.
“However, in recent times, the milestone that has been created by entertainers which had changed the mindset of the average Nigerian,” he said.
He said that Macron’s visit would go a long way to encourage up-and-coming artistes to strive to become better in whatever entertainment aspect they find themselves.
Rollas said that AGN and the Actors Guild of France were affiliated to the Federation of International Actors and that efforts had been made by AGN to create a relationship between both countries.
He said that Macron’s visit to Nigeria was a plus to the entertainment industry which would further smoothen bilateral relations between them.
Similarly, Pretty Okafor, the former president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), said that Nigeria’s entertainment industry had drawn the attention of the world to Africa.
According to him, Macron’s visit is evidence that the culture and tradition of Afro-beat music is being consumed and enjoyed in the developed world.
“With this development, the government at all levels must inject more funds into the development of the creative and entertainment industry in the country.
“I believe that this development will take the sector higher than we have imagined,” Okafor said. (NAN)