Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) received a boost on Wednesday when the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Abubarkar Bukola Saraki donated the sum of N5m for ailing actors.
The kind gesture was made during a courtesy visit by members of the guild at the Lagos residence of Saraki.
While briefing the number three citizen about the recently launched AGN Foundation AGN foundation which is mandated to generate a Five Hundred Million Naira endowment (N500m) fund for ailing actors and also to engage in community development project, President of AGN, Mr. Ejezie Emeka Rollas said:
“Veterans who have contributed to the development of the industry most times do not have anything to fall back on after so long number of years of service. Some move on to other businesses or sectors while some faces varnish with time.
“In the recent past the guild have lost prominent veteran actors to serious illnesses due to certain medical conditions which could have been averted if there was a medium or platform set aside to harness the strength of the association to fund medical treatment of our own or a source for funding from philanthropist or Nigerians to help rescue their legends.
“Actors like Enebeli Elebuwa, Justus Esiri, Arshely Nwosu, Dave lhesie, Sam Loco Efe, Muna Obiekwe, Peter Bunor, Prince James Uche, and host of others have been lost due to certain medical conditions and whose souls are resting in the bosom of the Lord. Recently we lost Chike Osuji in Owerri! He will be laid to rest this Friday, September 13 in Awaka in Imo state. There was a minute silence for late Chike Osuji.”
In his response, elated Saraki who described the actors as great ambassadors of the country promised to initiate all necessary legislative structure to make the movie practitioners have conducive environment to ply their craft.
He said: “Let me thank the president for bringing us together. You have made a lot of us very proud. You have worked hard to support our government. You have shown truly that we have great capacity.
Anywhere else in the world being surrounded by the stars I am seeing here, any politician would not let the opportunity slip away.
“Because we don’t recognize your talent and the kind of people we have, I would like to change that not because of you but because the country needs it. This is a decent industry. The economy will not grow by chance. But, it’s my belief that if duly supported.
“Nollywood will not only be number one in the world but will create job opportunities, increase the country’s GDP and reduce poverty, among several other advantages. Hollywood is great today because the American government supported and funded the industry. Same can be possible for Nollywood.”
Excited former President of the guild and chairman AGN Foundation fund raising committee, veteran actor, Segun Arinze thanked the senate president for the kind gesture and promised that his donation would be used judiciously for the benefit of ailing actors.
Other actors who accompanied Rollas include Former AGN president, Ejike Asiegbu; Former AGN president, Zack Orji; Chiwetalu Agu, Wash Waziri Hong; Uma Shehu; Ebele Okaro; Mona Lisa Chinda Coker; Ayo Binta Mogaji;Former President of Association of Movie Producers (AMP) Zik Zulu Okafor; Lilian Bach; Ronnie Dikko (member of committee and S.A.to National President on AGN Conference); Nkech Nnaji; Chita Agwu Jonhson; Mirabel Etuk; Benedict Johnson; Prince Ifeanyi Dike (Chairman BoTAGN); Frank Dallas (National PRO); St. Maradonna M Johnson (National Treasurer) among others.