Tourism Commissioner Meets Musicians, Disc Jockeys, Seeks Support For Post COVID-19 Era
In continuation of series of engagements with different stakeholders in the Tourism and Entertainment sector in the State, the Honourable Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf on Thursday, met some top musicians and Disc Jockeys on post-COVID-19 rejuvenation for the industry. Addressing the artistes, Akinbile-Yusuf emphasised the need for the performers to join hands with the government to educate their fans and well wishers on the importance of adhering to the COVID-19 protocols. She expressed the belief that no efforts should be spared in following all guidelines that can help halt this pandemic, saying "It is my desire that we should all go back to our normal life very soon and this can only be possible if we're resolute in the fight against this pandemic". AkinbiIe-Yusuf assured that the Ministry, being the regulator of the activities of the entertainers, will continue to work closely with the artistes to promote entertainment and make Lagos State the hub of entertainment in Africa.
In her words, "I have met with government agencies that are of high importance in the promotion of Tourism and Entertainment, and they have assured the Ministry of their unflinching support. I want to implore you to share your calendar of events with us so that we can continue to promote you". The musicians, comprising of hip-hop singers such as popular Nigerian Rapper, M. I. Abaga; Singer and Song-Writer, Dr. SID; Rapper and Singer, Falz; Singer/Songwriter, Teniola Apata; Fuji musicians and Disc Jockeys, pleaded with the State government to assist the practitioners in the area of payment of royalties for all their creative content. In his contribution, Abaga lamented the bureaucratic bottlenecks often faced in accessing government services and approvals, adding that the synergy being reached with the Ministry now will help address those institutional limitations. He also called on the government to help enforce the existing law on licensing and payment of royalties, especially by media organisations, in order to encourage those in the creative sector.
Falz disclosed that over 97 percent of practitioners in the entertainment industry have not earned a dime for the past six months being a sector that thrives on live shows and performances. According to him, the option being explored now in the entertainment sector is virtual entertainment and digital concert, which is yet to be fully embraced by Nigerians because of some challenges like data subscription and the nature of our digital technology in the country.