Mr Ejezie Rowland, the National President, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), has stated that the storylines of Nollywood movies are not responsible for the wave of crime in the country.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, Rowland reacted to a report quoting Babatunde Fashola as saying that the industry encourages rituals and kidnapping.
Recall Fashola made his remark at the 4th Annual Public Lecture/Symposium organised by the United Action for Change, which had the topic “Insecurity: Taking Action Against Organised Crime”.
According to the minister, Nollywood movies are the foundation for some of the country’s predicament, adding that their storylines always centered on rituals, kidnapping, robbery, occultism, and cultists.
Reacting to this, the AGN President said that it would be unkind for anyone to blame Nollywood movies and its storylines for the current wave of crime in the country.
“Such statement is not based on logical fact and will not, in any way, affect the industry.
“Nollywood is not the cause of the ills that have bedevilled the country; some of the crises in the country have been there before the coming of Nollywood.
“Before Nollywood came into existence in the 1990s, the country had grappled with series of crime. Some of the country’s ills predated Nollywood.’’
He said that the minister should rather appreciate Nollywood for its contribution to the country by providing jobs for unemployed graduates.
Rowland said that Nollywood had helped to curb the rate of unemployment in the country by engaging those who could have been armed robbers.
The AGN president stressed that the last film that was shot by his crew employed hundreds of people, adding that such was the situation for other films shot on daily basis.
“For instance, in Asaba, about 20 films are going on at different locations and in those locations, we have at least 300 people working for two or three weeks.
“Many women of `easy virtue’ have found their ways into the industry, thereby jettisoning their old ways and embracing a new life.
“Do you know how many prostitutes have changed from their line of businesses to Nollywood? Do you know how many `idle minds’ have changed from their dangerous thoughts because of Nollywood?
“Nollywood has proffered solutions to some of the vices bedeviling the country,” he said.