The federal government has expressed shock and sadness at the death of veteran movie producer Eddie Ugboma, calling him a worthy pioneer of today’s burgeoning Nollywood industry.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday, the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the fact that Chief Ugboma lived a purposeful life and left his footprint in the sands of time is a soothing consolation for all who knew him.

‘’In his lifetime, Chief Ugboma produced a number of avant-garde movies that blazed the trail and fired the imagination of those who would later become the top producers in today’s Nollywood. In a way, the success of the industry is a tribute to him and his co-pioneers,’’ the Minister said.

He expressed Federal Government’s condolences to the family and friends of the late film maker and prayed that God will grant him eternal rest and comfort his family.

Following a protracted illness, the veteran filmmaker had died in a Lagos hospital on Saturday, 48 hours before a scheduled surgery today.

In a 2018 interview with The Nation newspaper, Ugbomah had revealed that his illness concerned his nerves, ears and brain. He said he was wrongly misdiagnosed and treated for malaria and typhoid by doctors at five different hospitals before doctors at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos diagnosed what was wrong with him.

“It was something to do with my ears and my brain,” he said.

He had appealed to Nigerians to come to his aid financially as he was ill and needed N50m to treat himself. He, however, said he was not begging but needed them to patronise his works.

“We’re looking to raising N50m for my own intellectual property, not that I’m begging anybody cap in hand. I have something to make my money,” he said.