By SAMUEL ABULUDE, Lagos
The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has inaugurated a national taskforce to checkmate the upsurge of unlicensed and unclassified movies in the country.
The action was taken by the new Executive Director of the NFVCB, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas who assumed office barely three months ago. He mandated the 8-man taskforce to combat on all fronts the proliferation of unclassified or unapproved movies, influx of directly translated foreign movies and distribution movies by unlicensed agents and distributors.
Speaking at the Ikoyi office of NFVCB, Alhaji Thomas said that 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. “My own 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.
“The government recognizes the pivotal role the entertainment industry plays in propelling economic growth and creating mass direct and indirect jobs. The policy objectives of the ERGP for the creative industry are to increase film production by 15 per cent on an annual basis, export videos to generate USD1 billion in foreign exchange by 2020 and improve enforcement of intellectual property rights for artistic works produced in Nigeria.” In driving conscious action towards the realization of these objectives, the Board is working assiduously to improve film export to international markets, encourage legitimate importation, increase the GDP contribution of the industry from 1.5% to an appreciable figure and promote the development and growth of the film industry as a key non-oil sector of the economy,” he stated.
Chaired by the NFVCB ED 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 ED, the taskforce will work closely with members of the Police, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other relevant agencies to achieve results.
The members of the taskforce in their acceptance speech echoed their willingness to work together and bring sanity to the film industry.