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Filmmaker Risks Losing PhD Opportunity in Finland Due to NIMC, NIS ‘Issues’

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Akin Alaka, a filmmaker resident in Lagos, has narrated how he risks missing out on travelling to Finland for his PhD programme due to the lack of coordination between the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

Alaka told FIJ that his ordeal began on January 8 when he applied for a passport renewal at the NIS office in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, in January.

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He stated that the officials that attended to him said his National Identification Number (NIN) belonged to someone else.

“The officials gave me the strange information despite the fact that the NIN was already linked to my phone number. They then told me to enrol for another NIN before revisiting their office,” Alaka said.

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“When I went to the NIMC office to enrol for my new NIN, I made a mistake. I put my first and second name on the same line.

“When I eventually discovered I had made this mistake, I went to NIMC to correct it. I paid N1,000 for the correction and they recaptured my face. Then they asked me to come back in two weeks.”

The filmmaker said when he visited the office again for his NIN collection, an official told him that registration was not properly done. The official told him to reapply for yet another NIN because they could not access his data.

Alaka said he paid another N1,000 when he re-enrolled a third time.

“The NIMC issued me a number and provided a tracking ID. But they could not make the number operational. Its status kept showing that it was inactive,” Alaka said.

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“By this time, I had run out of time in terms of commencing the PhD programme in Finland. My flight ticket had also expired as well. With no job in Nigeria and being expectant of my passport, I did all I could to redeem the opportunity but I was ultimately unsuccessful.

“While awaiting the NIN to come out, I sent 10 emails to the NIMC, but they only responded once. They assured me that the number would be functional in less than 72 hours, but a month passed and it still did not function.

“I also went to the NIS office to determine if they could access my data on their system but they claimed they could not find any. In my desperation, I called an acquaintance who works with the NIS to proffer solutions on what to do.

“He told me that no data would reflect until I paid a N20,000 bribe. But after I paid the NIS staffer, my effort still did not bear any fruit. The official assured me that my passport would be ready in three days but I have yet to receive it.”

Alaka is presently unsure whether he would still be able to go for his PhD programme in Finland.

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“I already had a four-year resident permit for the programme since 2020. I should not have spent more than two years outside Europe since I got the opportunity, but COVID-19 happened. Now, I do not know if it is still possible to go there and do my programme,” he said.

According to Alaka, the lack of coordination between the NIS and the NIMC was to blame for his predicament.

“I do not have a job here and I am forced to do something I did not even plan for. Both the NIS and the NIMC are to blame,” he lamented.

“I do not know if they did anything. All they say is to come back in two weeks. There is no coordination between the two agencies. They leave you floating between them.”

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Ivie: Opa Williams returns big with movie against rape

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The veteran producer, Opa Williams, is back with a refreshing movie, Ivie, which he intends to use as a tool to fight against rape.

And this is coming after a hugely successful 3 Wise Men, a 2016 Nigerian comedy drama film, he produced and directed directed by Pat Ogbere Imobhio.

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Ivie shot few months ago and also directed by Oghere will hit the cinemas on September 30th and already movie buffs are predicting a major outing for the production.

IVIE – Synopsis

A 12 year old student, Ivie, must come out to save her mum, Enado (who has been abandoned by husband) and her 13year old sister, Isoken, a rape victim from the claws of Sanko.

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For shame of stigma, fear of betrayal and economic inadequacy, Enado is unable to confront a terror, fearless hardhearted rapist named Sanko.

Ivie believes, in her little world, that the society should be polite to its citizens, and despite a corruption, culprits should be made answerable for their actions.

Can Ivie take on the all powerful and ruthless Sanko who has raped her sister and been a threat to mum singularly?

“The movie will do two things. It would entertain and also pass a strong message to the society on the evil of rape,” Williams disclosed.

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Collision Course: Excitement grows as Netflix debut approaches

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As its Friday September 1, 2020 Premiere date on Netflix approaches, excitement and anticipation are building up around Collision Course, the hard-hitting film by Bolanle Austen-Peters.

Last Saturday August 20 highlighted how much the movie is well-anticipated when actors and crew members on the film as well as select guests gathered in Lagos for a private viewing of the movie, which explores the impact of rogue law enforcement officers on Nigerian society and how their unenviable harsh personal lives is sometimes a factor in their official duties. inspired by the October 2020 anti-police brutality protests in Lagos, Abuja and many other cities in southern Nigeria, the film has only been shown to a privileged few last November when it premiered as the closing film at the All Africa Film Festival (AFRIFF), which held at Landmark event centre in Lagos.

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Echos of Year 2020’s #endsars protests reverberates through Collision Course as a reminder on how many Nigerian youths took to the streets to demand an end to what they called endemic police brutality. The protests, especially in Lagos, ended on a brutal and tragic note when armed soldiers reportedly opened fire on unarmed protesters on the night of October 20 2020.

Saturday’s special private screening brought back the import of the 75-minute film as a topical, intensely-detailed and well-acted film about a police officer struggling to make ends meet and his encounter with an aspiring musician whose worlds collide.

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Brilliantly played by Kelechi Udegbe, the police officer sets up a roadblock to extract gratification from drivers as troubles at home grew, only to encounter the frustrated young artist with a pregnant wife.

After accidentally shooting dead the musician, the plot sets in motion a chain of events that leads to emotional trauma, arrest and a note-worthy commentary on the state of affairs within the police force.

One of the guests at the screening, Catherine Bickersteth, an educationist and development leader, said the film’s director deserves an applause “for crafting a great production about an important social issue so brilliantly.

Collision Course is an indelible film on several levels:

The storyline: topical and emotive but balanced.
The script: delivered the multilayered messages in succinct language freely and smoothly flowing from good grammar to pidgin English and local dialect.
The Acting: superbly evoked both visceral and intellectual reactions from unforgettably skilled characterization.
The locations: perfectly enhanced the narrative. For local viewers because the locations were not made-up sets, they emphasised the reality of the lives the characters were portraying.
The music: heightened the rollercoaster of emotions of the film.

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Austen-Peters, who personally picked the Best Film (West-Africa) award for the film at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) earlier this year, said Collision Course seeks to show some of the underlying issues that forces someone to turn against the very same people he swore to defend.

“I found out that every single person in the story had a back story that we all needed to understand, and at the end of this when you watch this movie you begin to understand that we are all victims, we are all brutalized by the system that we live in,” she said.

Aside its AMVCA award, Collision Course also earned Udegbe the Best Actor award at last year’s AFRIFF and picked two out of the four it was nominated for at the last African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).

The film hits Netflix for global streaming on September 2, 2022.

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Sola Sobowale tears up over huge announcement, lands first Bollywood role

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The Nigerian movie industry is no doubt soaring higher daily and one can’t help but be proud of the actors and actresses.

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One of Nollywood’s most sought-after actress, Sola Sobowale is going international.

The “King of Boys” actress made a special announcement on her Instagram page recently.

Sola revealed that she would be going to India to join record-breaking Director, Hamisha Daryani Ahuja for her latest project.

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Sobowale also said that she would be surely going to India to film and she would be playing a very dynamic role in the project.

“I am so excited to announce that I will be working with record breaking Director/Exec Producer @HamishaDaryaniAhujaon her upcoming project! And….get this…we will be going to India to film! I will be playing a very dynamic role in this project and cannot wait for you to watch it”.

Sola Sobowale had held a special thanksgiving at the St Peter’s African Church, Lagos where she danced like the Biblical David to honour God for being so good and kind to her. It was reported that the veteran actress and King of Boys star, Sola Sobowale showed up in a wine and white lace mix with wine headgear.

After dancing with joy, Sola Sobowale went on her kneels at the altar and received special prayers from the clergies.

Sharing photos from the special thanksgiving on her page, Sola Sobowale wrote “We thank God for all his mercies. ALLELUIA! Thanksgiving Sunday… May all our thanksgivings be accepted in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.”

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