BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
TNS understands that all is not well presently at the National Film Institute (NFI), Jos as students are protesting plans by the National Film Corporation to discontinue affiliation of the film school to the University of Jos as well as other issues ranging from neglect to poor state of the school.
This is coming only a day after members staff of the National Film Corporation (NFC) protested what some described as “stagnation and redundancy” of workers at the corporation charged with driving the development of a vibrant motion picture industry in the country.
NFI is a film making/training institution established under the Nigerian Film Corporation. The Institute’s academic/programmes are designed to cater for filmmakers and intending filmmakers in Nigeria and abroad and graduates of the institute are awarded degrees and diplomas under the University of Jos.
However, following reports that there are plans to de-affiliate the institute from UNIJOS, students of NFI staged a protest earlier today to communicate their displeasure with goings-on at their school.
One of the aggrieved students told TNS that the implications of a de-affiliation were dire. “We will just become an ordinary school if they do this,”he said. “No more degree, no more mobilisation for us. What’s the point? We can’t event get our results”
A staff of the corporation who requested that his name be kept confidential because of the sensitivity of the issues on ground said they protested yesterday because there has not been promotion for staff. “The vision is dying. The MD (Dr. Dadu Danjuma Wuri) is not a filmmaker. You know his office is a political appointment. The institute has turned to a glorified secondary school and there is tribalism in the system. If you complain, they will ask you to go back to your state and look for employment there,”he said.
A former student of NFI who pleaded anonymity said, “Everything is in a mess. There’s been no promotion for members of staff for years. I know someone who has been at the same level for nine years. The current head of the corporation knows nothing about film. Now, they are transferring people who were useful at the institute to the corporation where they have become useless.”
“NFI about to be shut down!!! We need all help, from the Media to transform National film Institute, Jos,” pleaded a concerned individual. They continued, “[NFI] may be cut off from University of Jos… All because of lack of payment.. We can’t even have a degree, and can’t go for NYSC… Yet we are paying our school fees!! We need all help from the right people!!”
Some alumni of the institution have taken to Facebook to pledge their support for the students protests. Read some of their comments below:
Tolulope Odebunmi Bro you guys should do videos and we use the social medai to expose them. Got your back.
Ibrahim James Kofa So so sad sir…but there is one thing I know and I am cock sure of,it would never kill the spirit of film making and the ingenuity of the technicalities of story tellin with just the “little” they offer you with the super flair youall have in you.
Ejim Fortune Kezi NFI’s autonomy is the only solution to this nonsense!!! Aluta continue my peeps! Kudos…!
Solomon Kyari Honestly i dnt know why NFI can’t operate on its own. The person heading it knows nothing about film. Thus all this rubbish will continue. So unfortunate. If NFI must gain recognition n b fully functional, it must brake away from UJ.
Rita Anko Waited for this to come, I guess its here, right behind u guys: any way we can help hola
D’priest Eze Abeg oo dey had better let this film students thrive and stop politicking with people’s passion,career,future& finance. Please and please the right set of people should be brought in and the needful things put in place or else……..
Efforts to reach Ngozi Udoh, the Public Affairs Officer of the National Film Corporation ended in futility as her phone line was out of service as at the time this story was published.
See photos from the staff and student protests below: