Sunday, November 28, 2021



- By Frederick Harry

On August 16th 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the much awaited Petroleum Industry Bill into law. The signing of the Bill into law was hailed as a timely intervention as it is expected to “provide certainty to potential and existing investors on the applicable fiscal regime in the Petroleum Industry”. By the powers vested in the President under section 59 (2) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, on September 19, 2021 he approved and appointed the Board and Management of NNPC Ltd with Senator Godwin Ararume as the Chairman of the Board.

The appointment of the Chairman of the Board from Imo State in the South East was applauded as evidence that the relationship between the people of the region and the President was heading north.

The inauguration of the board has however been suspended twice as a result of scathing criticism against some members by some activists, civil society organisations, petitions from powerful interest groups and alleged resistance by the International Oil Companies (IOCs).

Mr. Deji Adeyanju, the Convener of Concerned Citizens of Nigeria had described the appointment of Senator Ararume as a travesty and criticized the Buhari government’s “penchant for outlandish and unconventional methods of appointing cronies and men of questionable character” to important public offices. He insisted that there are many qualified technocrats and experienced oil and gas industry players from Imo State that can lead the charge at NNPC and manage the country’s main source of revenue and that Senator Ararume does not fit in that mould.

This type of blistering and witheringly scornful criticism coupled with fight back by the IOCs and counteraction by the political elites across board allegedly led to the indefinite suspension of the inauguration of the board as announced by the Secretary to the Federal Government on November 23, 2021. It is now being speculated in the Energy Halls of Power and Corridors of Political Influence that the federal government is considering nominating another person as Chairman of the Board.

It is very imperative therefore that the Buhari administration should take certain salient factors including but not limited to political environment, economic challenges, management skills and social issues into consideration before making such a nomination.

On the political environment, the ruling party, APC has been striving to make in-roads in the South East and the South South regions of Nigeria. Senator Hope Uzodinma, the Imo State Governor has been leading from the front in ensuring that  citizens from the two regions embrace the party wholeheartedly. This can be seen from his tenacity and doggedness in persuading his brother Governors from Ebonyi and Cross River States to join the party. He has essentially converted all the big and influential political players in the South East to APC. It is the prevailing public opinion that if the nominated Chairman of the Board would be changed, the President should consult the Governor to liaise with other relevant stake holders from the South East to present an acceptable candidate with cognate industry and management experience to lead the board and that person should come from Imo State.

What many people may not know is that oil, the bedrock of the Nigerian economy was first discovered in Iho Dimeze community in Ikeduru LGA of Imo State in 1937 by Shell Petroleum then known as Shell D’Arcy. The company established a base in Owerri before it left for Oloibiri in Rivers State when it discovered oil in commercial quantities there in 1956.

With the recovery of 43 Oil Wells from Rivers State by the Uzodinma administration which is the greatest economic feat by any Imo Governor since 1999, Imo State is now an assertive 4th oil producing state in the country. Imo State is home to over 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas deposit and upside of potential 600 trillion cubic feet. Natural gas has today become a catalyst for socio-economic renaissance all over the world as the urgent need for clean and renewable energy need not be emphasized. With the emerging importance of Imo State to the nation’s economy, it would be unthinkable to deny the state the chance to lead the Board of NNPC Ltd.

It must however be reiterated that the new NNPC Board needs to be led by a certified change agent who is conversant with processes and management strategies of formulation, implementation, evaluation, modification and monitoring. It must be someone ready to implement a paradigm shift agenda with his eyes on the ball of common good not the next election. He must be an innovative thinker with excellent track record and culture of excellence in service crafting tactics to achieve objectives. He must demonstrate outstanding problem solving skills and exemplary team leadership ability with knowledge of climate challenges.

Nigeria is considered 58th most vulnerable and 22nd least ready nation to adapt to the threats of climate change. With 25% of the population living in exposed coastal region, a vast majority of the citizens plagued by devastating poverty and insecurity fueled partly by climate change, NNPC led by the Board should be ready for transitioning into “Green Economy”. The Board must be ready to create platforms for engagement to achieve climate readiness with clean energy and improved decision making.  The country cannot afford a misstep now.

The ball remains in the court of Mr. President to consult widely and give the Board a Chair that would lead the way for the nation’s economic progress. 


Frederick Harry, a Nigerian from the Grand Bonny Kingdom, is a contributing editor to CNBC and Africa Business News.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

How the NDLEA Crippled Baba Suwe Before He Died

Babatunde Omidina, popularly known as "Baba Suwe"
(22 August 1958 – 22 November 2021)

Anyone who says he or she is shocked by the passing of the famous Nigerian comic actor, Babatunde Omidina, popularly known as "Baba Suwe" is ignorant of the circumstances surrounding his demise. The fact is Baba Suwe never recovered from the illness and trauma caused by his torture when he was arrested and detained by officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in 2011. The NDLEA accused him of being in possession of substances suspected to be cocaine. Baba Suwe told The Punch newspaper that he was crippled after he was tortured by the NDLEA.

“I have not forgotten about my issue with the NDLEA and I will never forget because I am still bearing the pains and suffering from that encounter. I am still affected by the inflictions they meted on me at that time. 

“As I speak with you, I cannot walk with both my legs. Just to visit the toilet in my room, I have to be carried there. Even using the toilet is a problem as well.

It is unfortunate that the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and the Theatre and Motion Pictures Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) failed to take up the case of maltreatment of Baba Suwe by the NDLEA. They failed him when he needed them most.  Before he passed on, Baba Suwe appreciated how Yomi Fabiyi stood by him .

“The only time you cannot know true friends, especially in our industry, is when you party or have buffet; when they have nothing to lose or suffer no discomfort. If you fall terribly sick or run into any problem, that you need moral support, that is when you will know you amount to nothing to them."

- Yomi Fabiyi


Monday, November 22, 2021

Expo 2020 Dubai: Kuwaiti Singer Abdulla Al Ruwaished and Egyptian Singer Mohamed Hamaki to Perform on the Jubilee Stage

Music at night

Looking for something to do in the evening? Let the voices of these incredible singers enchant you.

Abdallah Al Rowaished
24 November 2021 | 20:00 Jubilee Stage

Mohamed Hamaki
26 November 2021 | 22:00 Jubilee Stage

Expo 2020 Dubai
Kuwaiti singer Abdulla Al Ruwaished and Egyptian singer, composer and poet Mohamed Hamaki. Al Ruwaished will perform popular ballads from his 40-year career on the Jubilee Stage on November 24, with festival favourite Hamaki presenting his pulsating rhythms and polished lyrics two days later on November 26.

Expo started on October 1 and concludes on March 31, 2022

Friday, November 19, 2021

Prince Emeka Ani in "Chukwuabiama Na Ezedibia": God and the King of Wizards

One of three #Nollywood movies acquired through Vuulr for global streaming .

"Chukwuabiama Na Ezedibia" (God and the King of Wizards)

Director: Evans Orji

Major Cast: Prince Emeka Ani, Agbaogidi Clement Cornel, Camilla Mberikwe

Population of Igbos:

Ṇ́dị́ Ìgbò. 50,366,800 (2021 est.)

Regions with significant populations

Ñigeria 45,880,000 

United States


Igbo Americans, or Americans of Igbo ancestry, (Igbo: Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò Amerika)

Since the turn of the 21st century genealogy tracing by means of DNA testing is in part revealing the Igbo ancestry of African Americans, some notable celebrities including Blair Underwood and Quincy Jones.

1. USA (New York; Houston/Dallas, Texas; California; Maryland; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois)

2. UK (London, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham)

3. South Africa

4. Canada

5. Germany

6. Netherlands

7. Malaysia

8. China

9. Thailand

10. Spain

11. Ghana

12. Benin

13. Equatorial Guinea

14. Japan

15. Finland

16. Sweden

17. South Korea

"ENOUGH! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour" Wins the Audience Choice Award at 2021 Arlington International Film Festival

Arlington International Film Festival | Nov 4-14, 2021 | Streaming

A WRAP-UP of AIFF 2021

The Power of Coming Together

The act of creating an AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD is by nature creating a network of people from around the globe and giving them a voice. We have awards chosen by our jury but AIFF wanted to hear the audience’s voice.

Regardless of distance, you have had the opportunity of viewing
this year’s film program virtually
and casting YOUR vote for your favorite FILM

The Audience Choice Award that YOU voted for is…
ENOUGH! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour
Congratulations to filmmaker Daizy Gedeon!


  • Best of Festival: I’M AN ELECTRIC LAMPSHADE, John Clayton Doyle, U.S.A.

  • Best Narrative Feature: JACK LONDON’S MARTIN EDEN, Jay Craven, U.S.A. 

  • Best Documentary Feature: LOS HERMANOS: The Brothers, Marcia Jarmel & Ken Schneider, U.S.A.

  • Best Narrative Short: THE LAST JAM JAR, Arpan Bahl, India 

  • Best Documentary Short: HUNGER WARD, Skye Fitzgerald, U.S.A./Yemen

  • Best Animation Short: TIMES OF PLENTY, Claudio Costa, Italy

  • Best Experimental Short: WOMAN, Lillian Carter, U.S.A.

High School Student Filmmakers

  • Best of Festival: THE WALTZ OF TIME, Mario Martínez Sáenz, Spain

  • Best Narrative: BRO, CRITICS, Nigeria

  • Best Documentary: EVERY BODY’S BUSINESS, Amilieyon Pridgen, Jessica Torres, NY/U.S.A.

  • Best Historical Documentary: TAKING A SEAT FOR JUSTICE: The 504 Sit-in, Thomas Huang, Allen Tang, Andrew Wang, Andrew Yu, Rohin Garg, MD/U.S.A.

  • Best Animation: CLOUDY DREAM, Rayhaneh Einollahi and Bahareh Einollahi, Iran

  • Best Experimental: ELYSIUM, Ariana Jones, Georgia/U.S.A. 

  • Best Musical: SINCE THEN, BRJDC Residents, VA/U.S.A.

  • Best Cinematography: KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, SWEET PEA, Sophie Meissner, U.S.A./Germany

  • Best Editing: I AM KEREN, Keren Chen, Canada 

  • Best Lighting: FROM WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND, Jodhi Ramsden-Mavric, Australia

  • Best Audio: COMA, Ruby Kim, CA/U.S.A.

  • Honorable Mention: BEYOND THE MODEL, Jessica Lin, CA/U.S.A.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

The MultiChoice Talent Factory and other Film Schools in Nigeria

The MultiChoice Talent Factory and other Film Schools in Nigeria

I have waited long enough to assess the progress of the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) before writing about it 

I was told that the primary purpose of the establishment is to train screenwriters and filmmakers that will produce regular content for the M-Net Channels on DStv. But it has done more than that, because the alumni are producing content for the global entertainment industry.

The MTF covers WEST AFRICA: Ghana & Nigeria; EAST AFRICA: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania and SOUTHERN AFRICA: Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia & Zimbabwe.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy has achieved within three years of its establishment since 2018 what other older film schools in Nigeria have failed to achieve for the advancement of the Nigerian film industry. In fact, MTF has exposed the shortcomings of the film schools that have been existing since 2010 to date, but they are still having unaccredited courses and poorly trained graduates who have been rushed through ad-hoc courses in overcrowded classes without in-depth hands-on training on the most important components of filmmaking and film studies.

In filmmaking, if you are good, your works will show that you are good from the script to the screen. In filmmaking, seeing is believing. You show more and talk less. A good film school is not judged by attractive curriculums or fine buildings, but by the quality of the faculty and the quality of the film and TV productions of the alumni in the film industry.

The alumni of MTF have won international awards and scholarships; including the Spotlight award at the 15th edition of the Mobile Film Festival held in Paris, France in 2019 and awards of scholarships from the New York Film Academy (NYFA)  among other notable achievements.

The other film schools in Nigeria should use the template of the MTF for the improvement of their curriculums in accordance with the international standards of the best film schools in the world and they should join the International Association of Film and Television Schools (Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision (CILECT)

It is highly recommended to read the interview of MultiChoice Group CEO,  Yolisa Phahle .

TBI Spotlight On Africa: MultiChoice Group CEO Yolisa Phahle – TBI Vision

- By Ekenyerengozi Michael China,
The Publisher/Editor,

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Lagos in Motion! It's A Wrap?


#film #photography

It's A Wrap?
The moment I told my 📷 cameraman that he should stop, but the leading ladies still wanted to have more shots taken during the first phase of the principal photography of my documentary film, "Lagos in Motion" at the Elegushi beach in Lekki in 2016.
This screenshot and others are included in the photo book, 
LAGOS in MOTION: A Photo Album of Africa's Largest Megacity (Volume 1): Ekenyerengozi, Michael Chima: 9781536934922: Books

I am working on a revision of the photo book for the second edition with more screenshots from the second phase of the principal photography using Drylab Set Reports and Dolby Atmos. And I want to have some footage in Dolby Vision. The most significant advantage of Dolby Vision HDR over HDR10 is the addition of dynamic metadata to the core HDR image data. This metadata carries scene-by-scene instructions that a Dolby Vision-capable display can use to make sure it portrays the content as accurately as possible.  

All the documentaries on Lagos produced by the @CNN , @BBC and other foreign film and TV producers have not been well researched. The most important parts of Lagos have been forgotten or left out. A documentary film on Lagos without Isale Eko is like a documentary on #London without the Westminster!

Producing a documentary film on any object or subject without comprehensive research on it is shallow and unacceptable.
I spent four years on the location of my proposed first feature film, "Naked Beauty" in the Agaja Village on Bonny Island in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. I studied both the demography, topography and also the physiognomy of the villagers before writing the screenplay with Dr. Chika Christian Onu, the multiple award winning director of "Living in Bondage" part two, "Glamour Girls" and over 80 other movies that are now classics of #Nollywood.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Scramble for Nollywood and The Status of Lagos State

The Scramble for Nollywood and The Status of Lagos State

Everyone wants to have a bite of a hot pizza. 

I hope the current scramble for Nollywood by the major streaming video services from America is not like the scramble for Africa by European powers  (between 1881 and 1914).

Entertainment is Power 

I wonder if the Nigerian government knows the dynamics of the overwhelming power of our entertainment industry beyond the glitz and razzmatazz and surplus  economic returns.

The internet has become the most powerful vehicle of the entertainment industry since the inventions of the cinema and television.
The sociocultural, socioeconomic and sociopolitical powers of entertainment can define and determine the future of a nation and the civilization of the people.

Entertainment generates more revenues for America than oil. 
That is why California is the richest state in the United States.
The economy of California, with a gross state product of $3.2 trillion as of 2019, is the largest sub-national economy in the world.
California is the home of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Mountain View, the headquarters of the entertainment industry and of the Big Techs, including Apple, Alphabet and Meta. And is home to five of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people.
Without the internet, these Big Techs will not be Big and without entertainment, they will not become the biggest tech giants in the world.

Lagos is the powerhouse of the economy of Nigeria and the capital of the entertainment industry in Nigeria, the home of Nollywood and the home of Yabacon, the Silicon Valley of Nigeria where there are the first tech unicorns in Africa. And Lagos can become to Nigeria what California is to America. 
As it has been noted that if California were a country, it would be the fifth largest economy in the world, likewise Lagos would be the fifth-largest economy in Africa if it were a country.

The realization of the awesome developments of tech startups connected to the entertainment industry in Lagos is what has attracted the biggest American streaming video services to Nollywood. 
Disney already has a base in Nigeria with the long term partnership with Kugali Media.

I am excited about the Scramble for Nollywood and the competition for our original content. 
Only the best is good enough for us. 
As we say in my mother tongue of Igbo language, NKIRUKA, which means that the future is greater. 
This is the Big Picture of Nollywood I saw coming years ago. The future is here.

- By EKENYERENGOZI Michael Chima 

Friday, November 12, 2021

"The Hand of God" is One of the Best Films in 2021


"The Hand of God" (Italian: È stata la mano di Dio), the 2021 Italian drama film written, directed, and produced by Academy Award winner, Paolo Sorrentino is affirmatively one of the best films of the year.

The Cinematography should get a nomination at the 94th Academy Awards  for  Daria D'Antonio.

It competed for the Golden Lion at the 78th Venice International Film Festival where it won the Grand Jury Prize.

It is the Italian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards.

The Story:

In 1980s Naples, young Fabietto pursues his love for football as family tragedy strikes, shaping his uncertain but promising future as a filmmaker.

"The Hand of God" is a story full of unexpected joys, such as the arrival of football legend Diego Maradona, and an equally unexpected tragedy. Fate plays its part, joy and tragedy intertwine, and Fabietto's future is set in motion. Sorrentino returns to his hometown to tell his most personal story, a tale of fate and family, sports and cinema, love and loss.

Starring:Filippo Scotti, Toni Servillo, Teresa Saponangelo

My Verdict: It will get up to 4 nominations at the 94th Academy Awards for the Best International Feature Film, Best Cinematography, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. 

Distributed by Netflix
Release date
2 September 2021 (Venice)
24 November 2021
Running time
130 minutes

Definitely one of the top 10 must see movies on my Top Watch List of 2021.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Chioma Ude To Speak @ Dubai Expo 2020: Canon Brings Women Trailblazers From The Middle-East and African Film Industry

Cinema – A Social Catalyst: 

Dubai Expo 2020: Canon Brings Chioma Ude and other women trailblazers from the Middle-East and African film Industry to speak on the dynamics of the power of the cinema for sociocultural, socioeconomic and sociopolitical reformation and transformation.

Advancing gender equality & celebrating women empowerment at Dubai Expo 2020: Canon to bring together women trailblazers from the Middle-East and African film industry in a thought-provoking panel discussion
The panel discussion is envisioned to celebrate the creative efforts of women filmmakers who make an immeasurable contribution to the enrichment of the industry and to discuss how the industry can re-invent itself to reduce gender disparity

Access Multimedia Content

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, November 11, 2021/ -- In alignment with the company’s relentless commitment to promote gender equality and women empowerment, Canon  ( will bring together an esteemed panel of women entrepreneurs from the film industry in Middle-East and Africa at Women’s Pavilion, Dubai Expo 2020; Canon is the Official Printing and Imaging Provider of Expo 2020 Dubai taking place from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022; To register for the event, please click here ->

Canon Middle East (CME) and Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) announced today of their upcoming panel discussion on ‘Women in Filmmaking: In the spotlight and studying landscape of Cinema and Media today in Middle-East and Africa’ to be held at Women’s Pavilion, Dubai Expo 2020. As part of the company’s endeavor to celebrate women change-makers in the creative industries, a noteworthy panel consisting of women filmmakers from the Middle-East and Africa will be brought together on 18th November 2021 at the Women’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. The panel discussion is envisioned to celebrate the creative efforts of women filmmakers who make an immeasurable contribution to the enrichment of the industry and to discuss how the industry can re-invent itself to reduce gender disparity. The Expo 2020 Dubai Women’s Pavilion, is dedicated to celebrate the efforts of women in creative industries in order to reaffirm Expo’s commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Women’s pavilion is a platform that celebrates the significant parts that women, known and unknown, have played throughout history and continue to play in the present day, based on the principle that when women thrive, humanity thrives.

Read the report on TALK OF THE TOWN By Orikinla