Governor Sanwo-Olu States Position On Cinemas Reopening
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has stated his position on reopening cinemas.
The Governor on Wednesday reiterated his administration’s commitment to work collaboratively with the creative industry, saying that his government will do all that is possible to ensure that the sector thrives in the State.
This was during a virtual meeting with members of the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria, CEAN, and other key stakeholders in the Nigerian film industry.
Sanwo-Olu said: “Government is mindful of the economic impacts of the Covid-19 lockdown on the entertainment industry particularly the cinema sector, promising to work with the association to achieve a win-win situation.”
Representatives of CEAN during the meeting, expressed concerns about their sector, appealing to Governor Sanwo-Olu to reopen the cinemas and open up the sector for business. They promised to adhere strictly to the laid down Covid-19 safety guidelines.
Speaking on behalf of the association, Mr. Moses Babatope said the cinema owners are ready to reopen.
He said: “We are ready to open our cinemas any time today or tomorrow. Cinemas outside Lagos are already open and they are complying with all the necessary protocols. We understand that your office is being careful about the health and safety of Lagosians but we also assure you that these are top considerations for us too.”
In her own remarks, a filmmaker and one of the participants at the meeting, Omoni Oboli appealed to Governor Sanwo-Olu for tax waivers, saying that no one in the film industry has earned revenue in the past six months.
“Mr. Governor, we want you to help us with some tax break. As you may be aware sir, none of us has earned any revenue in the past six months. We want you to use your good office to help our industry.”
Responding, Governor assured the film industry experts that he would ensure that the government continues to protect their interest, saying he is a new convert having seen the level of creativity and economic importance of the sector.
He said: “We would work collaboratively with your industry. I am aware of the enormous challenges you face especially in this period of the COVID-19 pandemic. But as you know, we have to do what is right to protect the lives and property of millions of Lagosians.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu promised to look into all the requests made and return to them in due course.
Meanwhile, the meeting was moderated by a popular filmmaker and television host, Mosunmola Abudu, popularly called Mo Abudu.