I will reduce poverty through empowerment ― Senator Balogun

The people of Oyo South senatorial district have been assured that the high rate of unemployment across the nine local government areas of the district will soon be reduced to the barest minimum as many idle youths will be taken off the streets and engaged profitably.

The assurance was given, on Monday, by Senator Kola Balogun at a 2-day training programme tagged: Art and Film Production which he facilitated at Alice Place Events Centre, Opposite UCH second gate, Ibadan where 55 youths and filmmakers were trained by officials of the National Film Institute, Jos.

According to Senator Balogun who represents Oyo South, the 2020 budget has many laudable programmes that will transform the lives of the people and put a smile on their faces and he has resolved to bring them to the doorsteps of his people.

He said, “This training was captured in the 2019 budget but was delayed until now due to late passage by the 8th Assembly. I have no choice than to perform. As you all know that my victory at the polls is a unique one. I believe the victory is an opportunity for me to serve God and humanity. This programme is the third in 2 months. If you train a youth and empower him, he will in-turn employ two or more people and become an employer of labour. This will eventually have a multiplier effect on society.”

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The lawmaker enjoined the participants to show seriousness and diligence because it is an open-ended training that will take them to National Film Institute which could further expose them to international training saying; “This programme is coming at a time Nigeria is moving away from a monolithic economy to a diversified economy with focus on agriculture, solid minerals, culture and tourism. There is no doubt that music and entertainment has helped to grow the nation’s economy. Nigeria’s hip hop is in high demand abroad and Nigeria’s films are also making a great impact. They are watched by Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.”

Also speaking, one of the resource persons Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi of the University of Ibadan said anybody can fit into film production as there are 253 professionals in the value chain of film production. He described the film as a story of a series of events tied together by cause and effect while film making is a product that requires professionalism because the competence and otherwise of a filmmaker is easily visible.

In his comments, one of the participants who is also a farmer, Mr Babatunde Olatunji from Ibarapa East Local Government Area said he came to learn about acting and scriptwriting. He noted that his knowledge has been broadened adding that the training had given him the confidence to face the future, while another participant who is an actor/ producer, Miss Funmilayo Oloyede from Lagelu Local Government Area thanked Senator Balogun for organising the training and stressed that with the new knowledge, she is now equipped to produce films of international standard.

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