The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has said that it will soon raid markets of unclassified and unlicensed films across the country.
The Executive Director of the board, Mr Adedayo Thomas, stated this at a capacity workshop for members of staff of NFVCB in the South-south zone on Monday in Benin.
With the workshop titled: “Film and Video Works in the New Horizon”, Thomas said all foreign films in DVDs, CDs and other means, sold across Nigeria are illegal because they are not licensed by the board.
He said that most of the Mexican soaps, which had flooded local stations in recent times, were unlicensed and unclassified by the board.
“Apart from the ones we have in the cinemas, which are licensed by the board, other foreign films available in the market are illegal products.
“Licensing and classification of imported films/video works are part of the board’s mandate, and any foreign film that has to be sold in the country or aired on our local stations needs its approval.
“First, you must show to the board that there is a proper collection of copyright from the owner of the foreign film from the originating country.
“Besides, such films must be sent to us for a rating in order to ascertain whether it connotes with Nigeria’s code and classification,” he said.
The executive director added that although the board was not shutting out foreign films and video works, the protection of local content was crucial in its operations.
He urged all stakeholders to ensure total compliance with the board regulations to avoid legal actions.
“Our local films and video works that are licensed and classified should be encouraged to thrive.
“Even video musicals, no matter how small, are not supposed to be aired on our local TV stations without proper rating and permission from the board,” he said.
Thomas explained that the board has articulated an integrated public enlightenment strategy aimed at raising awareness of consumers, filmmakers and other stakeholders in the industry.
He added that the aim of the workshop was part of the efforts to reposition the board to effectively tackle emerging trends in film classification.
“The NFVCB is serving the largest film industry in Africa, which is growing rapidly. Therefore, its workforce needs training and re-training on new trends,” he said.
NFVCB was established in 1993 to regulate the films and video industry in Nigeria.