By Timilehin Ajagunna
The Bank of Industry (BOI) has denied receiving the controversial $200m Entertainment/Nollywood funding from the administration of Goodluck Jonathan. Photo: Filed
During the tenure of Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan, he promised an intervention fund for Nigerian entertainment during one of the several parleys with industry stakeholders. Touted to be as much as $200 million, the fund was to be made accessible to stakeholders via the submission of viable business plans.
A few entertainers have wondered what became of the fund purportedly lodged with the Bank of Industry but the bank has come out to deny being in custody of any such grant by the government.
In a statement, BOI said ‘The attention of the Bank has been drawn to a news report ‘Probe Jonathan’s $200 million Nollywood Fund, Lari Williams
tells Buhari’ published in the New Telegraph and P.M News Nigeria of August 11, 2015 wherein Mr.Lari alluded to the domiciliation of $200 million with the Bank of Industry Limited for eventual disbursement to artistes who are able to come up with viable business plans.’
‘The referenced Mr.Lari Williams had informed the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that ‘we need to know how the funds given to the sector is being disbursed because the growth of Nigeria’s entertainment industry will be enhanced by such money if well utilised.’
Making its rebuttal even clearer, the statement continues: ‘BOI would like to state for the records that it is not managing any $200 million Entertainment/Nollywood Fund and at no time did the Bank receive any such fund from the government for the Entertainment/Nollywood sector. This publication became necessary as some practitioners in the creative industry believe that BOI is in receipt of $200 million Entertainment/Nollywood Fund.
‘Due to the commercial potentials of the entertainment industry in Nigeria, the Bank has been making investments in the industry from its own resources since 2011. It has provided financial and advisory support to the following sub-sectors of the industry: movie production, cinemas, amusement/theme parks production studios etc. Recently, the Bank launched the NollyFund with a Fund size of N1.0 billion to support movie production and distribution.
‘Based on the foregoing, we hereby state unequivocally that the Bank of Industry Limited is not in custody of $200 million meant for the Entertainment/Nollywood sector.’
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