Nigeria’s Censors Board Reconstitutes Taskforce On Illegal Movies
A special task force, constituted by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) to checkmate the upsurge of unlicensed and unclassified movies in the country has been inaugurated in Lagos.
This heart lifting development for filmmakers was one of the steps taken by the new Executive Director of the NFVCB, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, who assumed office barely three months ago.
The feat, according to many, was a subtle approach to minimize piracy of intellectual property in Nigeria.
Inaugurating the 8-man task force at the Ikoyi office of the agency, Thomas said the reconstituted national taskforce against unwholesome movies, was one of the mandates given him by President Muhammadu Buhari “to revitalize the dying dreams of the founding fathers of the film industry, whose shear efforts brought the sector to phenomenal limelight, but have so far recorded pains and tears as a result of the sabotaging works of people bent on crippling the industry.”
While acknowledging that the Nigerian motion picture industry was built on the sweat and toils of its doyens, and not by government, the NFVCB boss said his responsibility therefore as one of the representatives of the government is to rekindle dashed hopes and fertilize the soil for their seeds to thrive and reap bountiful harvests from their toils and labours in the sector.
Thomas reiterated that the entertainment industry in Nigeria is the second largest employer of labour in Nigeria after agricultural sector.
He disclosed that the industry is estimated to employ over one million Nigerians, hence the policy objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Buhari administration is to increase film production by 15 percent on an annual basis, export videos to generate $1 billion in foreign exchange by 2020 and improve enforcement of intellectual property rights for artistic works produced in Nigeria.
Thomas noted that to achieve this comes the need to enforce intellectual property rights in the film industry.
“We have therefore selected men and women of impeccable character, cutting across various interests in the industry, thoroughbred professionals who have immensely contributed to the sector, and who know exactly where the shoe pinches,”
Chaired by the NFVCB boss himself, the national taskforce which is headed by veteran filmmaker, Patron/Advisor to the Board, Chief Eddie Ugboma, has as its members, Head of Lagos State Film Censors Board, Mr. Dele Balogun; notable marketer, Igwe Gab Okoye, aka Gabosky; and notable northern Nigerian filmmakers, Hajia Aisha Alilu and Mallam Malik Awah. Others are actor Saint Obi and film marketers Norbert Ajaegbu and Olatunji Ojetola.
According to the Censors Board helmsman, the task force will work closely with members of the Police, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other relevant agencies to achieve results.
The task force is expected to specifically look into issues regarding proliferation of unclassified or unapproved movies, influx of foreign movies dubbed in indigenous languages, and movie distribution by unlicensed agents.
In their acceptance remarks, the members of the task force were unanimous on the need to bring sanity to the film industry.