History was made on Friday, April 20 when the Emeka Ejezie Rollas led Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) again proved that it meant business in making the motion picture industry the envy of other guilds in the entertainment industry.
Held at the prestigious Sheraton hotels and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, the epoch-making event which was the rebranding of the guild and supported by Universal Insurance Plc witnessed the introduction of the new AGN general insurance product, unveiling of the new AGN logo, showcasing of the new identification card, unveiling of the new AGN mobile App with payment gateway/website and its interactivity. It also introduced a unified AGN devoid of rancour to the general public.
In his speech, Rollas who could not contain his excitement said that the significance of the occasion can best be appreciated considering the fact that after a history of several years of rancour, the guild is publicly uniting to chart a new path forward.
He said: “The need to rebrand AGN comes from a burden of the effects of the rancour and disunity which has plagued the leadership and permeated the membership of our noble guild in the past. Following the August 2017 Peace and Reconciliation Conference in Enugu and the consequent national appointment of Government of National Unity in which I emerged the National President. My national executive and I have sought to build on the strengths of our guild, work hard on delimiting those weaknesses that threaten cohesion and development of our trade and guild.
“As such, we have proactively embarked on the critical process of consolidating an effective and responsive administration while we are exerting measurable effort to build capacities across board in the guild so that we can boost our potential as a major player in Nigeria’s fast growing creative economy.”
Rollas pointed out that the AGN which has a membership of 150,000 practitioners in 32 States including the FCT makes the body which is a proud affiliate of Federation of International Actors (FIA) the largest association of professional interest in the Nigerian culture sector.
“Going by this available statistics, the AGN is in position of comparative and strategic advantage to engage meaningfully with stakeholders such as government, the organized private sector and relevant international development organizations. My administration intends to fully maximize this potential,” added Rollas.
In his remark, MD/CEO, Universal Insurance Plc, Mr. Ben Ujoatuonu said: “It is a noble idea to partner with AGN for this laudable initiative. We gave our commitment to make sure the idea is actualised. The scheme is in three folds-expenses for injuries, risk of disability and death. Actors cannot continue to beg when they have ailment. We are here to ensure that it stops and that is why we are in this project. We encourage everyone to support Rollas to ensure that the project is sustained.”
Beaming with smiles as he continuously adjusts his agbada to make his speech, the Director General, Censors Board, Mr. Ladi Adedayo Thomas happily announced; “AGN is back and moving on. Now rice farmers are millionaires, the next is the creative industry. We must not have one million guilds. I’m proud to be a graduate of Theatre Arts and to be associated with AGN. We don’t need more guilds. We are not beggars. There is no serious association that would not benefit from the censors board in this 2018. We are just waiting for the budget. I want to encourage this administration to continue the good work and also urge members to fully cooperate with Rollas in taking the association to greater heights.”
There was a performance by top comic act, Klint Da Drunk as well as presentation of the new I.D Cards and Insurance certificate to some movie practitioners.
Present at the mega flag-off event were chairmen of the guild state chapters, representative of DSTV, Mr. Ben Chiadika as well as top actors such as Prince Ifeanyi Dike, Benedict Johnson, Chief Remi Ohanjianya, Gloria Mba, Tarri West, Chinwe Owoh, Ifeoma Okeke, Ijeoma Imoh, Don Pedro-Agambi, John Okafor, Benedict Johnson, Browny Igboekwue, Uche Osotule, Ngozi Nwosu, Ronnie Dikko, Tony Akposheri, Emmanuel Oguguo, Frank Dallas, Austino Milado, among many others.
The occasion was ably anchored by Bambino Anaechina.