THE man who is popularly known as Mr. “Fix it” in Nollywood, Paul Obazele has accused the nation’s National Assembly as being on top of government concerns that are hell bent on frustrating Nollywood.
Obazele who is the president of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), made this allegation in an exclusive interview with Citytracker in Lagos recently as he answered questions on the many challenges of the movie industry at present.
“The bill to establish the much needed umbrella body to regulate the affairs of the movie industry; known as MOPPICON (Motion Picture Practitioners Council) has been with the lawmakers for over one year, but as things are now, it seems they have thrown it into the trash can”, he noted sadly.
He told Citytracker that all efforts and emissaries by practitioners to make the lawmakers see reason with stakeholders have yielded no result as the bill has neither been read or deliberated upon.
“But what is keeping it in the cooler, if not that some people in the house are bent on frustrating the industry”, he said sounding very disappointed.
He called on his colleagues who are busy fighting the Censors Board concerning the new distribution framework, to reorder their priorities. “We should all come together by now to pursue the endorsement of this bill, not wasting time arguing over a regulation that government has enacted into law”.
On the raging war between the Censors Board and a section of movie marketers, he said: “My stand on the issue is simple. I am aware that the Censors Board made due consultations with stakeholders before the new framework was executed, but if some people say they are still ignorant of the content of the package, there is time to still sit down and talk. Let the heads of the guilds be the ones that will properly educate their members on the advantages of the framework.
“For example, the whole thing about the new framework was initially not clear to me, as it deals with censoring films, but we moved. I and my executives went to the D.G’s office in Abuja. Today that issue has been trashed and rectified. It is now clear that the average producer can license his film up to cinema level.
“What is now causing the problem is that some ignorant people have gone to distort facts about the framework to satisfy their whims and are the ones spreading wicked rumours that the framework was to the marketers’ detriment.
“I advise my colleagues to stop listening to rumours and go straight to Emeka Mba to clarify issues for themselves. That was what I did when certain issues about the framework was not clear to me. I did not sit around and dwell on stupid rumours”.
Why is the Edo born filmmaker commonly called “Mr. Fix it”.
“Because I like to broker truce amongst my people. I believe that when problem starts, the people who pushed you to start it, will run and you’ll be left alone. But some people are not happy when I do this, because they thrive in situations of confusion.
On said: critics insistense that he has not performed in office as president of the producers’ guild, he said: “Action speaks louder than words. How can people, who don’t attend meetings, don’t pay their dues and never come around know what we are doing.”