By Omolara Omosanya
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has announced plans to institute a health insurance scheme for theatre practitioners in the State.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made this known when he hosted some veterans in the Yoruba movie/Nollywood industry at a dinner at the Lagos House Marina.
In recent times, theatre practitioners battling various health challenges and lacking funds have had to take to the social media to beg Nigerians to foot their medical bills.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who said he would pay the Insurance premium cover for the theartre practitioners, most of whom are aging, noted the Nigerian movie industry and practitioners themselves play key role in the development of the society.
He said “Your industry, you are one of the largest employer of labour, providing succour to a lot of citizens, but more importantly, we watch you, there’s always a lot of lessons, there’s always an information that you pass on to us, and that’s the beauty of life not a lot of people can be this creative, not a lot of people can be this imaginative. So, as a government, what we are doing is not out of place, government must indeed ask itself, how can I help my people, how can I make life better for them? Because that’s the whole essence of governance and so, this is the beginning of a journey.
The Governor commended the efforts of Nollywood Actress, Mrs Foluke Daramola-Salako, who runs and NGO, Passion Again Rape and Abuse in Africa, which has been seeing to the wellbeing of veterans in the Industry and promised that his administration would continue to reach out to the movie legends through the platform.
In the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown, Governor Sanwo-Olu had
approved a-billion-naira fund for the film industry as a single-digit soft loan to cushion the effect of the pandemic amongst other incentives for the creative and entertainment industry.
Earlier, while outlining some of the challenges facing them in the industry, some of the theatre practitioners at the event, including, Adebayo Salami, a.k.a Oga Bello, Jide Kosoko, Adewale Elesho, Idowu Phillips, a.k.a Iya Rainbow and Mahmoud Alli-Balogun, had lamented that their jobs are not pensionable and as such, many of them do not have the needed resources to cater for themselves when they become old.
They commended the Sanwo-Olu administration for carrying out people oriented programmes and projects which according to them are visible to qualify him for a second term in office and also declare their support for the APC flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
Other Practitioners present at the event include, Tade Ogidan, Lere Paimo, Fausat Balogun, Iyabo Ogunsola, Yomi Fash-Lanso, Said Balogun, Toying Adegbola and Bimbo Akintola, while officials who joined Governor Sanwo-Olu in hosting them include the Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf and her Information and Strategy counterpart, Mr Gbenga Omotoso