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    Nollywood: Lagos To Begin $100m African Film City Construction Before October Ending

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    The Lagos State government will be doing the groundbreaking of the proposed $100 million African Film City before the end of this month.

    The project, which will be sited in Epe, is intended to enhance originality in content creation in Nollywood – Nigeria’s film industry.

    Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, made the announcement on Thursday, at the 12th African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) press briefing held at the Lagos House in Marina.

    Recall that the state government in October last year, announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Del-York Group for the construction of the project.

    Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the state government would be doubling the capacity-building support for talented young industry players to enhance their skills in modern filmmaking.

    He said: “We will be doing the groundbreaking for the African Film City before the end of this month. It is a $100 million project to be sited on 100 hectares of land in Epe. Lagos is taking the lead in promoting sustainable growth in the creative industry. The first set of studios will be up on the site in the next 24 months after the groundbreaking.

    “We are also going to be doubling the State Government’s support for the training of young industry players. We will also double the grants being given to creative young talents for the production of short stories. We have supported over 5,000 people in the creative sector with different kinds of capacity-building opportunities and film production grants to scale up the numbers in the sector.

    “I am excited that the 12th AFRIFF is around the corner to further showcase the original local content to the world. The festival has offered a platform for young talents to flourish. I believe this year’s event will be the biggest. We are excited as a Government to be part of it. We believe this is the right thing to do. It is only when we can hold ourselves together and tell our stories that the world will understand our history.”

    The governor urged the practitioners to use their ingenuity to create Africanised content that would change the continent’s socio-cultural narrative, adding that through this, the world would know Nigeria is ready.

    He said: “We should take the world in an ingenious local way that will be original, content-driven and Africanised. I believe the 12th edition of AFRIFF will be a platform to leapfrog all shortcomings we have had. What you did not do yesterday, you have today to correct it because tomorrow is not promised.

    “Lagos State Government, by itself, bears all the hallmarks of excellence in all aspects. Excellence starts from everything we can imagine; the creative community sits right in the middle of that. As a Government, we have committed to anything puts Nigeria on the global map and supports our creative citizens on the world stage.”

    Also speaking, the Consul General of United States Consulate in Lagos, Will Stevens, said digital technology had transformed Nigerian film industry over the last decade, stressing that it was time for practitioners to fully benefit from Nollywood.

    The envoy hinted that with the quality of content and advanced production capabilities of African films, the second half of the 21st century would be “African moment” to fully expand the growth of its cinema industry.

    On her part, AFRIFF founder, Chioma Ude, said the film festival would be held next month to celebrate African cinema and promoting original storytelling.

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    Escaped Hyena in Jos, Nigeria Successfully Captured by Local Tourism Board After Drone and Ranger Search

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    Escaped Hyena in Jos, Nigeria Successfully Captured by Local Tourism Board After Drone and Ranger Search

    A hyena that was loose in the central Nigerian city of Jos has been successfully captured, the local tourism board has reported.

    According to Akonitv, drones and rangers searched for the animal after it escaped from the Jos Wildlife Park, causing panic among residents in the area. The hyena had “finally been found, tranquilised, captured and returned to its enclosure”, the tourism board said in a statement.

    It is unclear how the hyena escaped but, according to the tourist board, it had been inside a cage. Many people in Jos were scared, despite assurances from wildlife experts that the chances of the hyena attacking were slim.

    “Hyenas are very fearful of humans – the animal is more likely to run away than attack,” said Abba Gandu, who is based at Kano Zoo in the north of the country, and has worked with lions and hyenas for 50 years.

    “It normally excretes when scared and I foresee that happening when people finally get to it.”
    Wildlife escapes are not new in Nigeria. In 2015, a four-year-old lion was shot dead after it had escaped from the same park.

    At the time, police said the lion was hostile during attempts to return it to its enclosure and was put down before it could harm anyone.

    In nearby Kano state in 2019, a lion also escaped while rangers were trying to return it to a cage after attending a national agricultural show. It was later found after hours of searching.

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    Hyena Escapes From Jos Wildlife Park

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    Hyena Escapes From Jos Wildlife Park

    The management of Plateau State Tourism Corporation has confirmed the escape of a Hyena from the Jos Wildlife Park.

    A statement signed by the General Manager of the Corporation, Mr Chuwang Pwajok reads that” We would like to inform the general public that the Hyena which recently escaped from its cage at the Jos Wildlife Park is currently being tracked by our dedicated team of game guards and Park Rangers with the assistance of drone technology.”

    He assured the public that the corporation are taking all necessary measures to locate the escaped animal and ensure its safe return to its enclosure soonest.”

    “We kindly request the public to remain calm and avoid any approach to the Hyena if sighted,” the statement further reads.

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    FTAN to deliberate on way forward for tourism industry at 27th AGM

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    FTAN to deliberate on way forward for tourism industry at 27th AGM

    The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), has announced plans for its 27th Annual General Meeting scheduled for July 30, 2024, in Abuja.

    While briefing the Travel Press during a zoom meeting, Aliyu Badaki, chairman of the planning committee, disclosed that the AGM is non-elective and holds on the theme, ‘The role of the private sector in the development of tourism in Nigeria’.

    He explained that the theme is timely and in line with the happenings in the sector, the economy and the country at large.

    The chairman also revealed that the meeting would feature a panel session with Philda Nani Kereng, High Commissioner of Botswana to Nigeria, as the lead speaker. He expressed confidence that her wealth of experience in tourism would contribute immensely to the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the area of tourism.

    In the face of the economic reality, Badaki said that the AGM would provide another good platform for the government and the private sector to deliberate on challenges and how to drive tourism in Nigeria.

    Dignitaries expected as the event include: Lola Ade-John, Minister of Tourism; Hannatu Musa Musawa, Minister of Culture; John Owan Enoh, Minister of Sports; Folorunsho Coker, director general of NTDA; Nura Kangiwa, director general of NIHOTOUR; Ifeanyi Okeke, director general, SON; ECOWAS Commissioner of Tourism; Board of Trustees, FTAN, and other key stakeholders.

    According to him, with the calibre of panelists and high-powered dignitaries expected to grace the occasion, result-oriented deliberations and impactful networking are underway, as the AGM is the first time after a long while the industry is going to witness such key players coming together to chart a new course for the sector.

    Meanwhile, the AGM will serve as a flagship event for NTIFE, FTAN’s event, which comes up in November 2024.

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