Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC – Abia North), Senate Chief Whip, has praised the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) for establishing a Cinematography Centre in Abia State.

The initiative, according to Kalu, is commendable and capable of enhancing the capacity of the country’s aspiring cinematographers.

The former Abia governor made these remarks while laying the foundation for a Cinematography Centre in Asaga Ohafia, Abia’s Ohafia Local Government Area.

The Senate Chief Whip, who was represented by Rev Jemima Kalu, Executive Secretary, Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation, praised the Managing Director of NFC, Dr Chidia Maduekwe, for being innovative and initiating programs to transform the entertainment industry.

The rehabilitation of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, and the Second Niger Bridge, which is nearing completion, are among the major projects of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the zone, according to Kalu, who said the centre added to the Federal Government’s landmark projects in the South-East.

The NFC’s executive director told journalists that the center is “indispensable in the holistic turn around of film production activities from the eastern part of the country, with rich cultural and tourism heritages.”

He added that the Centre will’serve as a hub for providing audio-visual training, production, and post-production techniques to youths and other digitally savvy and innovative Nigerians.’

These, he claims, can be accomplished with the use of advanced high-definition cinematography equipment.

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Maduekwe stated that the center would help to increase employment, revenue, and wealth creation in the entertainment and tourism industries, among other things.

Ohafia was chosen from the southeast, according to Maduekwe, because of its strategic location in African tradition and the rich cultural heritage required for film production.

Other projects initiated by the corporation, such as the Audiovisual Resource Development Centre, Film Entrepreneurial Digital Hub, and a Film Village, he said, would be cited in phases across the country’s other geopolitical zones.

He was optimistic that the center would be implemented successfully, as it had been included in the budgets for 2021 and 2022, respectively.

He also stated that the project had the commitment and support of NFC’s French and German partners, and thus would not face financial difficulties.

Meanwhile, Maduekwe has been awarded the chieftaincy title of “Ishinka Ohafia” by the Ohafia Council of Monarchs in recognition of his numerous community development initiatives.

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Individuals and corporate entities such as the Nigeria Television Authority, Abuja and Jos Network Centres, the Palace of Adagwom Jos Izere Kingdom, the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, and Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, among others, sent goodwill messages.

Mr Godwin Ukah, a Director in the Ministry of Information and Culture, represented the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

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