Those who illegally took N3bn Nigeria’s money are fuelling AGN crisis –Emeka Ike

One would have thought that with the court declaring Emeka Ike as the president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, peace would reign in the association once again. But that is becoming farfetched as the crisis keeps brewing every day.

A faceless group has come out to claim that Emeka Ike is not the president of AGN, announcing Steve Eboh who is the chairman of AGN National Caretaker Committee as head of the committee that would set up an electoral body very soon.

Reacting to the development, Ike said he had heard about the current development and blamed it on those who he claimed took the N3bn Federal Government intervention fund for the association.

He said, “I got the same message from my source. My Lagos chapter conducts meeting every last Thursday. You can go to Hail Sailisi Hotel in Aguda and see the crowd for today’s meeting. I don’t ask you to make my meetings go viral. It’s on the ground. I am sure you have got a good friend among them seeing the way you get their one minute information, like the state house reporters.

“The case in court stipulates resolution of crises. I’m sure you read it in the judgement you have with you. You should know this is just another way of rumbling the quiet fluid which I’ve told you several times are from the usurpers of our N3bn grant. How can they say they trained 247 artistes with about N799m  in Harvard and Ibinabo Fiberisima’s faction got  seven slots while Emeka Ike’s faction got no slot? Which ID cards were used?

“We agreed at the first stakeholders’ forum to spend the N3bn wisely and a committee was set up right there at the main bowl of the National Theatre. There, I was unanimously voted into the committee to represent AGN and all factions were present. After a few meetings, the committee chairman started having cold feet and that dragged the process to a halt, then again, resurrected by a few actors in another caucus. That was where project ACT was finally adopted by them against the background that they refused it at the National Theatre, calling it a fraud. We suggested that it will be better to have the industry use the money within the associations because it is called an intervention fund.   “But they’ve settled themselves and shared our common patrimony. Now the associations must know no peace as they sponsor more groups and crises. They want to keep my group away from the N3bn so no questions are asked. That’s what they are doing.”

He called on the government to wade into the matter without bias so that the crisis within the body can be squashed.  Meanwhile, the Federal Government, in a bid to reposition the entertainment industry, has inaugurated a committee to review and restructure the N3bn project Nollywood grant. The fund was set up to solve the main challenges impeding the growth of the Nigerian movie industry.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, while inaugurating the committee on Friday in Abuja during a meeting convened to brainstorm on how to address the challenges of the sector, said time had come for investors in the sector to start getting returns on their investments.

She said the desire to reposition and restructure the fund was borne out of the need to stimulate investments in the entertainment industry, owing to its job creation potentials.

She said, “This grant programme was conceived to support the industry and it’s a reflection of the importance of the entertainment industry on the Nigerian economy.

“What we’ve come here to do is to look at the outstanding parts of the programme as yet unimplemented, to review them to ensure that they are still appropriate where the industry is today and where our objectives lie for the industry.

“We will be inaugurating a committee to review the programme, restructure it if necessary and to come up with an implementation plan with measurable and demonstrable deliverables and outcomes so that we ensure that we get maximum value for the industry and for the Nigerian people.”


Punch Ng

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