This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by Paul Nwabuikwu, Spokesman for the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
``Action on the three billion naira support promised the Nigerian film industry by President Goodluck Jonathan has formally commenced with the roll out of a N300 million capacity building fund.’’
The statement noted that the capacity building fund was the first of a series of initiatives planned under ``Project Act Nollywood’’, adding that It was made up of two components.
According to the statement, the first component is a Training Fund of N150 million, dedicated to training and skills acquisition for Nollywood practitioners in all competencies along the entire value chain of the industry.
The statement said it include; scriptwriting, directing, production and production design, special effects, lighting, sound, HD techniques, acting, cinematography, make-up and editing, among others.It said that the second component was the Capacity Development Fund which was also worth N150 million.
According to the statement, grants will be given to existing Nigerian-owned private institutes that offer training courses, programmes, and technical certification in the movie industry.
The statement said the fund might be used to upgrade existing facilities, procure equipment and develop internal capacity to offer a set of courses and training programmes that would address key skills gaps. It said that institutes to benefit from the fund must have a prove of registration from Jan. 1, 2013, and be competent enough to train people according to global best practices.
The statement said that the intervention Project ACT Nollywood, would be managed by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and the Minister of Tourism, Chief Edem Duke. Okonjo-Iweala in the statement said the establishment of the fund underscored government’s commitment to supporting Nollywood in recognition of its contributions to the economy. ``This is the first of the initiatives planned under Project Act Nollywood, and it shows that the president is keeping his word to the industry and to Nigerians. ``Nollywood deserves this support because it has added value to the economy by creating jobs and acting as an ambassador to the country.
``It is also projecting Nigeria to many parts of the world that hitherto, knew little or nothing about the country,” it quoted Okonjo-Iweala as saying.
It said that the overall objective of Project Act Nollywood was to support the industry in a sustainable way that practitioners could leverage on to improve their capacity and output in key areas.
``The fund is open for applications from July to December 2013. Courses commencing after Dec. 31st are eligible provided the application is received before Dec. 31 2013.’’
It said that guidelines for applications indicated that applicants must be Nigerians and industry practitioners among other requirements.
------------Michael Paul, Daily Times Nigeria