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BOI refutes custody of $200m entertainment fund


The Bank of Industry (B0I) has debunked insinuations that it is in custody of any fund announced by former President Goodluck Jonathan, as grant to a the Nigerian motion picture industry. The Bank was reacting to reports credited to veteran actor, Larry Williams, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to probe a certain $200 million purportedly placed under BoI’s management by Jonathan, for disbursement to practitioners in the entertainment industry. “BoI would like to state for the records that it is not managing any $200 Million Entertainment/Nollywood Fund and at no time did the Bank receive any such fund from the government for the Entertainment/Nollywood sector,” the Bank said in a statement. According to the statement, “the Bank has been making investments in the industry from its own resources since 2011. It has provided financial and advisory support to the following sub-sectors of the industry:  movie production, cinemas, amusement/theme parks, production studios etc. Recently, the Bank launched the NollyFund with a Fund size of N1.0 billion to support movie production and distribution. ”There are indications that the reported $200 million was mistaken for a N3billion fund in custody of the Ministry of Finance, and issued as grant for the motion picture industry, under the Project ACT Nollywood. Recall that in March 2013, the former president, during the 20th anniversary of Nollywood, announced a Project ACT Nollywood fund of N3 billion, to build the capacity of filmmakers and actors, as well as the establishment of film distribution platforms. Williams is asking for a probe into how the grant, which is being managed by the Ministry of Finance, headed by former Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been disbursed so far. Williams told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that, “we need to know how the funds given to the sector is being disbursed because the growth of Nigeria’s entertainment industry will be enhanced by such money if well utilized.”


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