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Sanwo-Olu says government aware of lockdown impact on entertainment industry

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Sanwo-Olu


• Operators demand tax holiday over revenue loss
• No alternative to fiscal federalism, says Abiru

Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, said his government was mindful of the economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the entertainment industry, particularly the cinema sector, promising to work with the association to achieve a win-win situation.

The governor stated this during a virtual meeting with members of the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) and other key stakeholders in the film industry.

He reiterated his administration’s commitment to work with the creative industry, saying that his government will do everything possible to ensure that the sector thrives in the state.

Representatives of CEAN, during the meeting, expressed concern about their sector, appealing to Sanwo-Olu to reopen the cinemas and the sector generally for business. They promised to adhere strictly to the laid-down COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Speaking on behalf of the association, Mr. Moses Babatope said the cinema owners were ready to reopen and also requested that the governor should set up a film office whose function would include liaising with foreign investors while also serving as a major hub for the film industry in Lagos.

A film-maker and one of the participants at the meeting, Omoni Oboli, appealed to the governor for tax holiday, saying that no one in the film industry has earned a revenue in the past six months.

Sanwo-Olu, who assured the film industry experts that he would ensure that government continues to protect their interest, promised to look into all their requests and return back to them in due course.

IN another development, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the October 31 2020 bye-election, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, has promised to work vigorously with other lawmakers to push for institutionalisation of fiscal federalism in the country, if elected.

Abiru, who spoke yesterday during his campaign at Ibeju-Lekki, said fiscal federalism was indispensable to national progress, saying that it would empower the states and promote even development.

He said: “As federating units, our states cannot be viable with the current fiscal structure. There is need for review within the ambit of the existing legal framework to institutionalise fiscal federalism with a view to encouraging healthy competition among states to promote even development.”

“With the on-going constitutional review, I will exploit this window of opportunity to push for a new fiscal federalism regime.”


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