Abuja - A veteran comedy promoter, Opa Williams, on Wednesday urged the federal government to create an environment conducive for the development of the entertainment industry in Nigeria.
Williams made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
He said that the industry had the capacity to provide an alternative source of revenue for the government.
"Nigeria, after oil, entertainment is key. There are other sectors the government should be looking into that can make people grow, can create employment for people.
"Government should look into entertainment to create employment, create enabling environment for entertainment, to encourage entrepreneurs because the image of Nigeria outside has got to do with entertainment.
"If you go the whole of Africa and the western world you have Nigerian entertainers, musicians, comedians, and actors being recognised.
"So, you should also acknowledge the fact that this thing is something that we need to look into and build it very well.
"There’s income to get out of it; there’s development to get out of it; there’s image to build out of it. The image of Nigeria is projected by what you see on radio/television here.
"So, government should also understand that to launder image for good, you have to drive that by entertainment, by visuals, by acts, by audios."
Williams urged government at all levels to exploit entertainment to promote the country and launder its image.
The Nite of a Thousand Laughs, organised by him, on October 1, in Lagos, was to celebrate Nigeria' 53rd year of independence.
"It is a date I chose to celebrate Nigeria. It is a date that I decided that okay on this day, let’s celebrate ourselves; lets laugh about our achievements and our misfortunes.
"It’s glaring the major achievements of Nite of a Thousand Laughs. It created a platform for people to grow, so you have fantastic comedians who didn’t come 18 years ago.
"It’s a platform that has created people to emulate itself. From 1995 to now, we’ve been able to create that industry. Now you find comedians being major parts of any event.
"Comedians are beginning to live well; you now begin to have comedy shows on television, comedy shows live and comedians also being seen as people who can endorse brands."