By Taiye Olayemi
Lagos – The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, on Thursday urged Africans to reboot and strive to contribute to global developmentconsidering the effect of COVID-19 pandemic globally.
Ogunwusi made the call during a webinar session organised by Goge Africa with the theme: “Cross-sectional collaboration for Tourism and Economic Development”.
He said that COVID-19 pandemic has changed the narratives across all sectors of the economy and African decent should work tirelessly and contribute meaningfully to the global scheme of things.
” The topic of discussion here is a passionate one in my heart as COVID-19 pandemic has changed virtually everything about us across the world.
” It is obvious now that African decent should reboot to contribute to the global scheme of things; it is going to be a better time for us.
” I am in full support of domestic tourism growth,” he said.
Emeka Rollas, National President, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), said that Nollywood was ready to collaborate with tourism operators to activate heritage impact movies.
Rollas decried production of films, which depreciated national pride, project issues of kidnap, prostitution, rituals, crime and all.
He said that rather than dwell on the aforementioned themes, producers should focus films that projects the country positively such as the national tourism heritages.
He urged government agencies saddled with the responsibility of censoring films to look into the content produced to ensure elements of national tourism assets were projected.
” We are open to collaborate with tourism operators and the government to ensure heritage sites are properly showcased in films, we will use our substance to support those in the tourism sector to develop the industry.
” Actors are ready to be ambassadors to all tourism sites to spur tourists’ interest.
” We have a document already prepared to be submitted to the Ministry of Information and Culture, which reveals how the collaboration can be done seamlessly,” he said.
Also, Mr Chidi Mokeme, an actor, urged his colleagues in the industry to use destination placements in films as tool for tourists’ attraction to sites.
Mokeme said this was important as stories helped to make emotional connections.
Mr Fidelix Duker, former President, Directors Guild of Nigeria, said the greatest problem of showcasing domestic tourism sites was lack of basic infrastructure such as bad road, poor network connectivity and power outage.
Duker said that shooting films at heritage sites would help the development of local economy.
He noted that it was not enough to film at heritage sites but the needed infrastructure must be put in place to ensure tourists remain permanently attracted to those sites after being showcased.
” Government must understand that infrastructure is key to domestic tourism growth, it should create an enabling environment for tourism to thrive.
” These needed infrastructure are lacking because most government tourism parastatals are poorly funded.
” One of the most difficult places to film is our airports, there is always access to shoot films at the White House in U.S. but here in Nigeria, the seat of power, which is the Aso Rock cannot be accessed for this.
” The Aso villa is a fantastic structure but no one can shoot films there because security issues are always advanced for this,” he said.
Also, Mrs Omotayo Omotosho, former Director-General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) said that tourism infrastructure was important at this critical period.
” We are going nowhere if the tourism industry is not properly funded, I observed tourism and culture got the least fund in the recent national budget, compared to other sectors, this is not good enough,” Omotosho said. (NAN)