As Box Office Rakes in N4.4bn between January & August 2019.
By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: Following the negative impact of uncensored, unclassified, pornographic and foreign Digital Versatile Discs(DVDs) on Nigeria’s domestic product, the Director General, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, has disclosed plans to commence burning of such items.
The DG who made the disclosure on Wednesday, when he played host to members of the Culture, Arts, Tourism and Entertainment Writers Association Abuja(CATEWAA) in his office, said that the seizure and torching of such DVDs will help to create an enabling environment for local producers, actors and actresses.
He noted that many Nigerian actors have died due to unclassified, uncensored, pirated works and foreign films, adding that all foreign films, except the ones in the cinemas in Nigeria are illegal, and so, the Board will begin burning of the seized items.
In his words, “We will be starting our torch of pornographic films and uncensored, unclassified and foreign DVDs, they are illegal, they are messing up the domestic product, but we are not saying we will ban foreign films.
“Foreign films that meet our standards must have intellectual property rights of the owner, and to be presented to us for confirmation before it can be on sales; but no DVD comes to this place to be censored and they are all here.
“So, all those foreign films are giving our domestic product a terrible platform and they can’t go the way they are supposed to go. Without those DVDs we will be able to do a lot,” he said.
Furthermore, Alh. Thomas added that through the Ease of Doing Business Policy, the industry has grown to an unexpected level, as only box office generated N4.4 billion between January and August 2019.
According to him, “The Ease of Doing Business Policy has helped the creative industry and encouraged us to do more, and the industry has grown. If only 52 Cinemas with 153 screens could make N4.4 billion… From that amount, our Domestic film generated well over 60%.
“To enhance the Policy more, we have to create an enabling environment for local producers, actors and actresses and embark on the seizure of all foreign DVD films because they are not approved and they entered into the country illegally. Just the way foreign rice is being treated, the same way, foreign DVDs are being treated by us”, he disclosed.
Speaking on the level of improvement of the Board since assumption of office, the DG said that attitude to work of staff, welfare and capacity training has improved, and the numbers of Cinemas have increased from five to 52 and Screens from 20 to 153.
On the legacy he hopes to leave, he noted that the film industry is the largest employer of labour and he would want to see the industry overtake agriculture and petroleum, but in a case where it is impossible, the gap should be minimal. He added that if the two industries do not move, the film industry is ready to overtake to become the first.
While commending the CATEWAA for the visit, he pledged to carry the Association along in every one of the Board’s Programmes, and advised the Association to work towards growth and avoid leadership tussle.
For her part, the CATEWAA Chairperson, Dr. Bridget Onochie, said the Association is mindful of the position and contributions of Nigerian film industry to the economy, hence the need for greater collaboration between the Board and the media towards articulated publicity that will not only promote the industry but equally project the Board’s efforts at ensuring effective regulations on both artistic content and packaging of Nigerian films.
She further noted that as stakeholders in the Nigerian project, the Association can function more effectively as a partner in the Board’s programmes and activities, and expressed hope that the meeting will mark the commencement of an enhanced mutual relationship between the Board and the Association.