Ekiti State Gov. Kayode Fayemi, on Sunday vowed to make the state a destination of choice for entertainment.
Fayemi who was represented by Prof. Rasaki Ojo Bakare, Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, said this at the Best Of Nollywood (BON) Awards, in Ado-Ekiti.
The governor who expressed his excitement at hosting the event, said it was in line with what the state was doing to encourage the entertainment industry.
“We are happy to have the celebrities and icons of the entertainment industry and everybody who was part of the great show.
“In Ekiti State, we are doing a lot to position our state as a destination of choice for entertainment, events, conferences and everything that is creative.
“That is why when Mr. BON, Seun Oloketuyi, approached us to host this event. We were very delighted and excited because it flows with what we are currently doing in the state.
“Recently, we signed an MoU with one of the leading filmmaking companies in Nigeria, Native Media, led by Rogers Ofime, to shoot five epic films in two years.
“For the whole of 2021, the ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism in Ekiti State, will be busy shooting movies for the first six months of 2022.
“We are investing massively in our tourism sites and Best of Nollywood Awards keys into our vision in the state.
“We want to congratulate Seun Oloketuyi, for being able to pull this through.
“We will always stand with him on this project. For Nollywood as an industry, we want to ask them to be with Ekiti State, all the way.
“We see them as partners in progress. We have creative people here, and we want to turn the creative energies of our people into real wealth.
“We are going to partner with them.” he said.
In the same vein, the Executive Producer, BON Awards, Seun Oloketuyi, in his speech also acknowledged the fact that year 2020 had been a difficult year.
Oloketuyi said that the event was used to send a message to the government to give the entertainment industry, the much needed attention and support.
“On behalf of the staff and management of the Best of Nollywood (BON) Awards, I welcome you to this year’s BON Awards.
“It is special in many ways and my team has taken to calling it ‘the miracle edition’.
“2020 has been a tough year for filmmakers as cinemas remained closed for most of the year.
“Film locations and other entertainment centres related to movie-making, were also shut down for the greater part of the year and many film festivals went virtual.
“We at BON Awards have kept the faith and pushed on, believing that the show must go on in spite of the realisation that COVID-19 is real and deadly.
“Today, we are here recognising the best that Nollywood has got to offer this year.
We are taking the opportunity to call on the government to look inwards and tap into the huge resources Nollywood has to offer, especially with Nigeria’s dwindling oil revenue.” he said.
He further commended governor Fayemi and other sponsors of the event, for making BON awards a successful one.
Best of Nollywood Awards, is an annual film event, presented by Best of Nollywood Magazine, to honour outstanding achievement in the Nigerian Movie Industry.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the first edition was held on Dec. 6, 2009, in Ikeja, Lagos State. (NAN)