By Folorunsho Hamsat
The national executive council of the Theater Arts and Motion Picture Practitioners’ Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) has applauded the initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari for constituting a committee of the creative industry stakeholders to look into and advise the federal government on the best way to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
The national president of TAMPAN, Otunba Bolaji Amusan a.k.a. Mr. Latin, made available this statement earlier Thursday.
While the body gave kudos to President Buhari on the initiative through the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed for thinking it right to champion this course, Mr. Latin declared that “TAMPAN is seriously pained and very disturbed that government would come up with such an admirable, timely and veritable initiative and strategy and excluded a very critical stakeholder in the industry like the TAMPAN; an association with well over 50,000 membership across the country.”
“We are stritcly in agreement with our government that at a time like this there is need for a collective and government-supported approach of this nature in dealing with the immediate, short and long term palliatives and initiatives for the industry, in order to flatten the effect of the pandemic on this vast Industry, but this ought to have been done with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders so that the outcome can be flawless and unblemished,” the star actor stressed.
For clarity, Mr. Latin explains, TAMPAN is not in rivalry or opposed to the membership of the already set up committee which came to life on Wednesday May 6, 2020, “but we are of the firm belief that with our long standing reputation, ingenuity, competence, capacity and intelligence, the committee can not be said to be properly constituted without our honest, robust, professional and useful contributions which will no doubt be guided in the spirit of patriotism and loyalty for the overall interest of the industry as well as the good people and government of Nigeria, devoid of pecuniary gains.
“In addition, TAMPAN is not oblivious of the fact that a major plank of the economic diversification policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government was creating the highest number of jobs after agriculture and creative industry if given the required wherewithal and support has the magic wand to drive the vision of government in its inventiveness, particularly in diversification strategies.”
For the records, the TAMPAN leader explained further, the body has the expertise to assess the expected impacts of the deadly Covid-19 on the industry in general and it can equally offer informed advise to the government on how to mitigate job and revenue losses in the sector, as well as to create succour for the industry small businesses among other issues.
“Without sounding immodest, TAMPAN has the intellectual strength and technical know-how to suggest the type of taxation and financing that is best for the industry at this time to encourage growth and also advise the government on any other measure or measures that can be undertaken to support the industry in meeting government’s desirable goals for the citizenry,” he stated.
In the light of the above, the actor urged the government to co-opt TAMPAN to the existing committee of the creative industry stakeholders, stating that it is not too late to make amends to achieve better results.