By Deborah Coker
Benin – The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has in Benin, Edo, destroyed illicit, unwholesome, unapproved films and videos worth more than N100 million.
The Executive Director of the board, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas before the destruction, said the action was necessary to effectively sensitise the film market for security of investments and protection of the nation’s moral value.
Thomas said it was also for the sustenance of national peace, security and harmony.
He said that one of the key facilitators of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of President Muhammadu Buhari administration was the continuous improvement on respect for and enforcement of intellectual property in the film industry.
He said that this was through the discouraging of distribution of unapproved, unclassified, and unwholesome films and tackling other illicit activities in the film market.
Thomas said that to achieve the desired result, the board went into collaborations with stakeholders across board, especially security agencies.
“Our collaborations across board have led to massive confiscation of pornographic films and other unwholesome video works by our Lagos zonal office. And that is why we are here today to carry out the symbolic burning of the confiscated items worth over N100 million.
“We have done in Abuja, been to Kaduna, and was at Kano yesterday, while southeast and south south states will follow.
“We are strongly determined to stamp out the distribution of these items to safeguard our future as a nation.
“The board is in the process of taking this collaboration to the next levels in the year 2020 for continued capacity building and operational trainings to further tackle the issues of piracy and distribution of unwholesome films, musical and video works.
“The Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, has been promoting avenues to continually diversify the nation’s economic base to increase the resilience of the trade balance, promote economic sustainability and pursue the strategic objectives of job creation, youths empowerment, improved human capital, improving business environment and promoting digital-led growth.
“The national film and video censors board’s strategic approach to improving industry growth and accruals, and combating counterfeiting and unapproved movies through approvals and support for cinemas have led to huge economic impact and increase in revenue.
“Recent Box Office earnings indicate that Nigerians spent about N7 billion on tickets at the cinemas in the year 2019, a 200 per cent increase from about N2 billion spent in the year 2018, grossing more than 1billion naira in December 2019 alone.
“These figures are exclusive of earnings from ancillary businesses along the cinema industry value chain, VCDs and DVDs, online streaming, videos on demand and Over-the-Top platforms, Pay TV channels, community cinemas, and other distribution channels,” Thomas said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Eniye Asomba, the Head of the Benin centre said the centre was more than committed to actualising the mandate of the board on the state.