The drive by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) towards sanitising the film industry of unclassified film and video works began this year, with a three-day workshop, at the Elomaz Hotels, Maryland, Lagos.
The event, which had about 156 participants, was made up of security agencies such as the Nigeria Police, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Immigrations Service (NIS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Department of State Services (DSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Nollywood guilds and associations, and staff of the NFVCB.
Tagged ‘Strengthening Enforcement Against Unclassified Film and Video Works’, activities began in earnest, after participants were divided into four groups for deliberations and drafting of working documents, proposed for the National Assembly, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Hosted by the Executive Director of NFVCB, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, and chaired by the Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Gimba Mogaji, who was represented by DCP Ayodeji Ogundele, the forum also had Mrs. Chioma Azosiri, Assistant Superintendent of Customs and an Intellectual Property Rights Officer, as well as notable film practitioners, including ace cinematographer Mr. Tunde Kelani; President of Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Mr. Ralph Nwadike; President of Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN) Mr. Fred Amata; and Lagos Chairperson of Creative Designers Guild of Nigeria, Mrs. Joy Adeyemi.
Others are veteran actora Adebayo Salami, aka Oga Bello and Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey; filmmaker Niji Akanni, theatre art educator Tunji Azeez; comic actor Adewale Adeoye, aka Elesho, and film marketer Tunji Ojetola among others.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, DCP Ogundele noted that the workshop was “designed to bring all major stakeholders in the film, video and musical works together, interact with each other, exchange ideas and bring on board the solutions to major challenges the industry is facing now and to envisage likely future occurrences.”
He said President Muhammadu Buhari was very keen of the creative industry, and interested in the outcome of the workshop.
According to Ogundele, the “NFVCB has been in collaboration with the Nigeria Police and has made good efforts which have resulted in huge number of arrests of criminals in the industry, especially in 2017 and 2018.”
In his opening remarks, Adedayo said that compliance on the agency’s mandate became necessary, as the NFVCB’s Act and classification decisions of the Board are often breached by some ‘stakeholders’.
“There is need for the NFVCB to step up its game in order to combat this menace and rid the market of anything unwholesome and unclassified as well as ensure that its various licensees play by the rules,” he said, adding that, “It was the desire for compliance that made me, shortly after assumption of office last year, to personally lead enforcement team into the notorious Alaba market where we made a lot of seizures of unclassified and unapproved movies.”
The NFVCB boss noted that the workshop is expected to, among other results, build the capacity of the staff on issues of compliance and enforcement; produce a manual on issues of monitoring, enforcement and compliance issues; sharpen the skills and competence of the enforcement officers; expose the attendees to new trends and global best practices for compliance and enforcement matters; and have a working document to interface with the stakeholders in the industry with a view to letting them know that it is no longer business as usual.
He averred that the working documents by the four groups will be incorporated into strategic action plan towards policy documents on the issues under review.
Participants were full of praise for the NFVCB’s ED, describing him as visionary, proactive and accessible to film industry stakeholders since assuming office.