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    RMD leads Kelani, Mo Abudu on mission to drive Lagos’ film tourism

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    Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has inaugurated a committee on Film Production Empowerment to be chaired by a veteran filmmaker and Nollywood actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo, popularly known as RMD.

    The nine-member committee, comprising five actors and four government officials were selected to drive the vision to actively support youth creativity and entrepreneurship in the sector.

    Industry veterans in the committee are popular cinematographer, Tunde Kelani; a film and television producer, Ms Mo Abudu; movie director, Mr Kunle Afolayan, and Mrs Peace Anyiam-Osigwe.

    The government officials in the committee are Adebukola Agbaminoja, Ferdinand Tinubu, Taju Olajumoke and Mrs Funke Avoseh who will serve as the committee secretary.

    The intervention project initiated by the governor aims to jump-start the transformation of the entertainment and tourism sector as it seeks to fund youth creativity and entertainment activities in the state, following the disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19 that impacted negatively on entertainment and tourism in the state.

    The committee’s inauguration came months after the governor set aside N1bn seed capital to unlock the potentials in hospitality and tourism businesses, a scheme designed to support creative ideas of movie and entertainment producers who are constrained by funds so as to bring their concepts into reality.

    Governor Sanwo-Olu described entertainment and tourism as enablers of growth with huge potential for employment opportunities.

    The sector, according to him, is critical to achieving his administration’s youth development objectives, given its high rate of absorption of creative young people in its supply chains.

    He said, “We realised many of our film production experts and directors face a lot of funding impediments. We are intervening to close this gap and bring credible veterans who have the knowledge and have demonstrated capacity in the industry to drive this project.”

    Sanwo-Olu also stated that the committee had been given the authority to disburse the support grants to movie producers who have fresh ideas and those whose stories are yet to be completed. He also charged the committee to work out its engagement modalities and administrative responsibility of selecting the beneficiaries of the scheme.

    “As we roll out this scheme, we want to be able to help the industry around job creation and bring youths out of unemployment, using the creative industry. We also want to create entrepreneurs that will use their creativity to enhance the market shares of the sector. We want to support the industry practitioners to raise capacity, support development of local content and discourage the action of taking proceeds from the industry out of the country, thereby denying local practitioners the benefits of their talents,”

    Responding, the committee chairman, Mofe-Damijo described members of the committee as passionate practitioners in the entertainment industry.

    “We don’t have any excuse not to perform in this assignment. We will do everything in our capacity to ensure that result which the governor has envisioned comes to reality,” he assured.

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    Governor’s wife showcases Kwara’s tourism wealth

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    The wife of Kwara Governor, Olufolake Abdulrasaq, on Thursday, urged local and international tourists to explore the tourism potential in the state.

    Mrs Abdulrazaq made the call in Ilorin at the ongoing annual general meeting (AGM) and conference of the National Association of Nigeria Tour Operators (NATOP).

    The AGM has its theme as “Tourism as Catalyst for Progress, Peace and Partnership”.

    “Kwara, with its vantage in the North-central region, is endowed with immense and captivating tourist destinations, widely referred to as ‘a wonder in the wilderness’.

    “The Owu Falls is the highest and most spectacular natural waterfall in West Africa.

    “Founded in 1945 and widely referenced as the mother of all museums in Nigeria, the Esie Museum is located in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.

    “We have Imole Boja Rock Shelter; we also have the Sobi Hills, the University of Ilorin Zoological Garden, the Dada Pottery, and the Aso-oke weaving centres, among other very interesting sites.

    “In celebrating our culture and traditions, we equally have the annual Ilorin Durbar, the Gani Festival, the Shao Mass Wedding and the Patigi Boat Regatta, to mention a few,” she said.

    Mrs Abdulrazaq, who commended the tour operators for bringing their annual conference to the state, urged them to explore the spots mentioned and further promote the economic potential of the state.

    She said Kwara’s rich historical background, wonders of nature and exquisite cultural events are sights to behold.

    She said Governor AbdulRahman Abdulrasaq was leaving no stone unturned to ensure that opportunities in the tourism sector in the state were maximised.

    According to her, this is evident in the government’s engagements in partnerships, evolving investment-friendly policies and putting in place infrastructure to drive all sectors of the state’s economy.

    “In complementing this drive of government, my office and the Ajike People Support Centre are actively involved in promoting tourism and celebrating the cultural heritage of our people.

    “It may interest you to know that during our host of the Commonwealth quiz competition, top functionaries of the British government were conducted around some of these beautiful sites.

    “Also, I have sponsored some of our traditional aso-oke weavers to participate in fashion shows of international repute to showcaseenhanceate and enhancing their capacities,” she said.

    Akonitv reports that the conference began on 17 July and will end on 20 July.

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    Breaking News: Ooni of Ife Palace denounces fake romance scam allegations

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    The Palace of the Ooni of Ife has addressed a trending fake news story involving Ms Fagbule, who was allegedly defrauded of $180,000 by a scammer posing as Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, CFR, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife.

    According to a release made available Otunba Moses Olafare, Director of Media and Public Affairs at the Ooni’s Palace, clarified that the allegations are unfounded and part of a character assassination tactic aimed at gaining popularity on social media.

    The Palace emphasised that the Ooni does not engage in any personal social media interactions, with all official communications handled by the palace’s media directorate.

    The alleged scam is a fabrication, and the letter used as evidence does not match the Palace’s official letterhead or the Ooni’s style.

    Ms Fagbule, if genuine, is invited to the palace in Ile-Ife for assistance with law enforcement to uncover the perpetrators of this crime.

    The Palace advises the public to be cautious of social media engagements and reiterates that the Ooni does not interface online or via proxies.

    The Palace’s letterhead is distinct, signed by the Ooni as “Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula” and not “His Imperial Majesty”.

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    Akpabio reshuffles Senate committees, demotes Ndume to tourism

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    Akpabio reshuffles Senate committees, demotes Ndume to tourism

    The Senate did a minor reshuffling of its standing committees on Wednesday in addition to creating an entirely new Committee on Livestock to oversee the just-established Ministry of Livestock Development.

    The Senate President, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, announced the changes soon after Sen. Ali Ndume was removed as the Majority Whip.

    He was replaced by fellow Borno compatriot, Sen. Mohammed Monguno (Borno-North).

    Monguno also replaced Ndume as the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, while Ndume was redeployed to chair the Committee on Tourism.

    The Senate President said, “With the elevation of Distinguished Senator (Mohammed) Tahir Monguno to the position of the Majority Whip of the Senate, his committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters will now go to the only Senior Advocate of Nigeria that we have in the 10th Senate.

    “Senator Adegbonmire Adeniyi SAN

    now becomes the Senate Chairman on the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

    “The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tourism becomes Senator Muhammad Ali Ndume.

    “The Chairman of the Senate committee on the proposed Reparation and Repatriation becomes Senator Ned Nwoko.

    “The deputy chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, in line with our earlier practice, lies with Senator Mohammed Tahir Monguno in addition to being the Chief Whip of the Senate.

    “The Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tourism is Senator Anthony Ani.

    “In line with the spirit of togetherness and forgiveness, Senator Abdul Ningi retains his earlier position of Senate Committee Chairman on Population.

    “The Chairman, Senate Committee on Agri-Institutions, becomes Senator, Simon Lalong.

    “Senator Saliu Mustafa, becomes the chairman of Senate Committee on Livestock Development, a new ministry just created. Any further changes shall be announced in due course.”

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