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Mbanefo lists gains of shooting movies at tourism sites

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja 28 August 2016   |   3:59 am
Director-General, NTDC, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo (middle) flanked by film director/producer, Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun (left) and  Chief Executive Officer, Black Power Product, Mr. Odera Ozoka (right) during a courtesy visit to NTDC recently

Director-General, NTDC, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo (middle) flanked by film director/producer, Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun (left) and  Chief Executive Officer, Black Power Product, Mr. Odera Ozoka (right) during a courtesy visit to NTDC recently

Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, recently endorsed moves by Nigerian producers to shoot movies at the nation’s numerous tourism sites.

She spoke during a visit by a delegation of Black Tower Gong Production Limited, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Odera Ozoka, and Nollywood producer, Mr. Mahmood Ali Balogun, to the headquarters of the corporation in Abuja. Mbanefo stated that the move would boost the campaign towards promoting the country’s tourism industry.

While commending the initiatives of the executive producer of the film, A Forgotten Place, (a film that articulates Nigeria’s tourism potentials) in complementing government’s tourism promotion efforts, Mbanefo said the initiative would help drive the industry. Apart from showcasing Nigerian culture and creative ingenuity, the D.G maintained that the setting of such movies also provides vital information about the country and its other potentials.

She further assured her visitors of NTDC’s readiness to support the initiative, as according to her, it would serve as a veritable marketing strategy for Nigeria’s tourism sector. She also commended Balogun for his contribution to the growth of motion picture industry in the country, describing the growth of Nigeria’s entertainment industry as highly encouraging..

In his response, the consulting producer, Balogun, lauded Mbanefo for her visionary approach, which he said has enabled her to see the potentials of films in tourism development.

He said, “With this meeting, Mbanefo has shown that there are people who have the interest of the country at heart. She was quick to see the potentials of this film as an international juggernaut that has the ability to project the country’s tourism products and destinations. By supporting this film and the young filmmaker, Ozoka, she has given me hope in the system”.

On his part, Ozoka stated that A Forgotten Place would project Nigeria’s image, promote tourism assets in the country and, consequently, encourage international tourists to visit Nigeria. He added that the movie, which tells the story of the country’s civil war, attempts to highlight the unifying narratives at these critical moments when Nigeria is going through stress.

Aside showcasing Nigerian culture and artists creative ingenuity, the D.G maintained that the setting of a movie also provides vital information about the country and its other potentials.

The D.G further ssured her visitors of NTDC’s readiness to support the initiative, as according to her, it will serve as a veritable marketing strategy for Nigeria’s tourism sector.

The NTDC boss also commended Mr Balogun for his contribution to the growth of motion picture industry in the country, describing the growth of the entertainment industry in Nigeria as highly encouraging, being the third largest in the world.

In his response, the consulting producer and Nollywood veteran, Mr Balogun, lauded Mbanefo for her visionary approach, which has enabled her to see the potentials of the films in tourism development.

He said, “With this meeting, Mbanefo has shown that there are people who have the interest of the country at heart. She was quick to see the potentials of this film as an international juggernaut that has the ability to project the country’s tourism products and destinations.

“By supporting this film and the young filmmaker, Ozoka, she has given me hope in the system.”

Ozoka on his part stated that the film, A Forgotten Place will project Nigeria’s image, promote the tourism assets in the country and consequently, encourage international tourists to visit Nigeria. He added that the movie, which tells the story of the country’s Civil War attempts to highlight the unifying narratives at the moment when Nigeria is going through a critical moment in nation building.

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