Three critical stakeholders in the Nigerian movie industry popularly referred to as Nollywood have directed all their members to stop all productions forthwith.
The stakeholders, the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures’ Practitioners Association of Nigeria, TAMPAN, Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN and the Association of Movie Producers of Nigeria, AMPN in different statements on Tuesday ordered members to stop productions of both Films and Television Series in a bid to stop the spread of the dreaded coronavirus.
According to a statement from the Office of TAMPAN President, all members of the association are implored to stop productions for three weeks.
“The suspension of productions becomes mandatory for members of TAMPAN and is temporarily scheduled for 3 weeks starting from Friday 27th March to 17th April 2020. This action becomes necessary as a preventative measure against the contact and spread of the lethal Coronavirus after consultations with all necessary stakeholders.
“Despite that, the crucial decision is taken, also to protect members of this association from contacting the deadly Coronavirus aka COVID 19 that is fast ravaging the world. Mr President, therefore, urges all TAMPAN members both home and abroad to adhere strictly to this advice for the safety of each and every of his member.
“Aside from productions, the three tiers of TAMPAN Worldwide are also advised to adjourn all meetings till the end of the unavoidable break. E-Meeting is advised where necessary.”
Meanwhile, TAMPAN’s President, Bolaji Amusan, implores members to abide by the preventive measures prescribed by World Health Organization such as Constant Washing of Hands with soap and water, covering of nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, avoiding close contact with the sick, non-attendance of any mass gathering of people, and maintaining good personal hygiene among others, the statement issued by Yemi Amodu, TAMPAN National Director, Research and Documentations on behalf of Amusan, stated.
Similarly, Ejezie Emeka Rollas, The National President of Actors Guild of Nigeria, the umbrella body of actors in Nigeria in a statement also banned members from all production sets across the country as a preventive measure to curb the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus while setting up an emergency relief committee for distressed members.
“The President has directed the AGN National taskforce to lock down all production sets where members are involved across the country to help protect the lives of our members from the dreaded COVID-19 Virus. The National President has also set up a National emergency relief committee to assist members in distress and require urgent assistance. The emergency number is 09096335790.
“All members are advised to observe strict procedure processes of good hygiene and immediately report any suspicious health issues to call NCDC on 08097000010, emphasizing that nothing should be taken for granted at this delicate time of the global pandemic” the statement reads.
On his part, Ralph Nwadike, National President, Association of Movie Producers of Nigeria, AMPN read the riot act to his members to call off every production activities for now while vowing to pursue the enforcement of the directive with the assistance of the law enforcement agencies in the country.
“It has come as disturbing news that some of our colleagues are still shooting at various locations in the country and taking for granted all measures of precautions and safety the States and indeed the Federal Government has put in place to stem in the bud the dreaded disease.
“We must as a matter of urgency call off every shooting or any production activities for now while we join hands with the authorities to collectively fight the Pandemic.
“This is not time to sweet talk ourselves, the Coronavirus pandemic is real so every Production ongoing or about to begin MUST STOP until further notice.
“As President, l will pursue this directive with the assistance of the police and even the Military, so this is a serious directive.
“While we can’t be at all places at the same time, l urge all members to inform any member of the National Executives or States chapter Executives of any recalcitrant member who is carrying on otherwise.
“This same directive will be issued to other Guilds and Associations in Nigeria. In the interest and safety of every practitioner in Nigeria, stop every production activities until April 13th 2020, where we’ll further review the activity of the pandemic and in line with the Various States and Federal Government guidelines, this order will be reviewed. This order is not directed at anyone but all of us, as we are in it together” he said.
This development is coming on the heels of the directive by the Lagos State Government and Lagos State Ministry of Health that everyone who was at the last Africa Magic Movie Viewer’s Choice Awards to isolate themselves after one of the attendees tested positive to the COVID 19.