Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has announced plans to include a health insurance scheme for theatre practitioners in the state. It was gathered that this happened just as some Nollywood practitioners endorsed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Sanwo-Olu made this announcement during a dinner with Nollywood veterans in the Yoruba industry on Monday night. The announcement was commended by the Nollywood veterans at the event who appreciated the governor for putting the health of the theatre practitioners in consideration, especially the veterans in the industry.
Recall that in recent times, theatre practitioners battling various health challenges and lacking funds have had to succumb to begging Nigerians for funds to foot their medical bills through social media. Some are also living in penury as a result of their inability to work in old age and health challenges. But Governor Sanwo-Olu, has offered to pay the insurance premium cover for the theatre practitioners, especially the aging ones, noting that the Nigerian movie industry and practitioners had played key roles in shaping the development of Lagos.
He said: “We realise that your industry is one of the highest employers of labour. You have continued to provide succour and means of livelihoods to a lot of citizens quietly. More importantly, you give freshness to our lives through your stories. There is always a lesson and information to learn from the experiences you paint in your works. You fill in the creative space of our society and project good values about our culture, way of life and race. It is interesting to see your industry grow, even without enough support. You are able to stand and build names around the industry. As a government, some of the interventions we have brought forward to assist your industry are not out of place; it is your right and entitlement which makes the government to look back in assistance to further shape our society for greater good.
“To further enhance our intervention, we are going to initiate an insurance scheme to assist the Nollywood and give the practitioners free access to health care in public health facilities. This scheme will be specially categorised for professionals in the film business. This is yet another token of what the government can offer those who have shaped our society. The insurance scheme would come in handy for practitioners who cannot afford medical expenses and prevent them from seeking assistance in an embarrassing manner.”
The governor said his administration will continue to contribute required resources to the entertainment and creative industry to make life easy for the theatre practitioners, he also pledged to provide additional intervention funds for them.