The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) started the New Year on a good note. In its bid to sanitise the film industry of unclassified film and video works, the Board recently organised a conference that brought together a wide spectrum of security agencies and film practitioners.

Theme: ‘Strengthening Enforcement Against Unclassified Film and Video Works’, the 3-day event held at Elomaz Hotels, Maryland, Lagos, drew participants from 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 the Censors Board. At the end of the day, participants numbering about 156, rounded off deliberations with working documents on enforcement and compliance, meant to be passed into law as soon as possible. 

The event was helmed by Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Gimba Mogaji, who was represented by DCP Ayodeji Ogundele, and had notable personalities such as Mrs. Chioma Azosiri, Assistant Superintendent of Customs and an Intellectual Property Rights Officer, as well as notable film practitioners, including ace cinematographer, Tunde Kelani; President, Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Ralph Nwadike; President, Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Fred Amata; and Lagos chairperson of Creative Designers Guild of Nigeria, Mrs. Joy Adeyemi. 

Others are veteran actors, 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. 

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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”.

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, NFVCB’s Executive Director, Adedayo Thomas, said that compliance on the agency’s mandate became necessary, as some ‘stakeholders’ often breach classification decisions of the Board. “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, “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 others, build the capacity of the staff on issues of compliance and enforcement; produce a manual on issues of monitoring, enforcement and compliance; 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.