Mrs Emmanuella Blatmann, the French Ambassador to Nigeria, has declared her government’s intent to develop the creative and digital economy of Nigeria with €100 million.
Blatmann made this known during a courtesy visit and facility tour of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), on Friday in Jos.
Blatmann while highlighting the numerous collaborations already existing between Nigeria and France, noted that France was aware of the creative talents of youths in the country, and therefore, intended to partner with the NFC to develop the sector.
“I am very happy to be here, and very excited to visit the National Film Institute and the NFC. I have heard about them for some time since I arrived in Nigeria, they are a partner, a big partner for us in the creative industry.
“We have ongoing partnerships, including specialised training sessions for students, but also there exists an agreement signed between the French National Centre for Cinema, (NCC) and the NFC, and already there have been missions from the French Development Agency
“I am very happy to also announce that the NFC will be one of the major beneficiaries of the future project of the French Agency for Development (AFD), launched by the previous administration, which is investing in digital economy and creative industries in Nigeria.
“This is in partnership with the Islamic Bank for Development, the African Bank for Development and the Bank of Industry.
“AFD’s contribution will be 100 million euros, and they will be focusing on the vocational training part of the whole project” she said.
Blatmann, who expressed delight at the potential bond between the two countries in promoting the creative and digital economy, said though it had been launched, it was yet to be signed.
On his part, Dr Chidia Maduekwe, Managing Director of NFC, appreciated the French Embassy for the previous collaborations they had enjoyed, expressing hope that this partnership would benefit the creative industry and Nigeria.
He noted that though NFC’s hope of collaborations had not been wholly achieved in the past, it however, appreciated the embassy for its benevolence thus far, adding that this partnership would make Nigeria the creative capital of the world.
“I recall with excitement the various support by and through the Cultural office of the embassy in assisting the NFC grow Nigeria’s Audio-visual industry.
“I like to convey our appreciation to the immediate past, and also the current Cultural Attachés of the embassy for always coming through for us when the need arises, even at short notices.
“Their contributions have added value to our quest to effectively develop a partnership template for accelerated development of the Nigerian film industry, in spite of the fact that much of our dreams of leveraging on the strength of France have not been wholly achieved.
“I want to commend the embassy for extending its benevolence to NFC to pursue its programmes and projects.
“The essence of the collaboration is to tap into the rich cultural milieu of the French Republic, and adopt what needs to be adopted.
“It would also impact knowledge to our youths, energise them, and move Nigeria away from being the poverty capital to becoming the creative capital of the world,” Maduekwe said. (NAN). READ ALSO: