The Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, has extolled the Nigeria Police for its collaborative role in the fight against uncensored, illicit films and video works in the country.
Thomas gave the commendation on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the decoration of newly promoted senior officers of the police at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
The Nigeria Police, he sad, had been playing strategic role in safeguarding the nation’s lucrative motion picture industry, particularly in anti-piracy operations and capacity building programmes.
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He said that the exponential growth of the Nigerian motion picture industry has also made enforcement and compliance operations of the board more tasking, hence the need for collaborations.
“As part of the NFVCB zero-tolerance stance against all uncensored and unclassified films in the Nigerian market, whether foreign or local, we are working closely with the Nigeria police.
“The Nigeria police has been part of the reason why the NFVCB is standing tall in regulating our film industry, and we are quite appreciative of this and have not taken it for granted.
“Our enforcement raids across the country, including tough places like Alaba International Market, have always been made successful with the Police.
“We need to regulate what goes out for public consumption, that is why we have been fighting against distribution of films and video works not licensed and classified for distribution in Nigeria.
“Our strategic partnership with the police, especially on training, has boost our enforcement operations across the country,” Thomas said.
He observed that although enabling laws of the Censors Board prohibits pornographic contents, distribution and exhibition of uncensored and unclassified films, many industry players were bent of breaking the laws.
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The NFVCB boss, however, noted that the police was always willing to provide needed support which has largely deterred the pirates.
He noted that part of the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan entails continuous improvement on enforcement of intellectual property and ownership rights in the film industry.
The Executive Director said the board under his watch has pursued that objective by discouraging the distribution of unapproved, unclassified and unwholesome films and tackling other illicit activities in the film market.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal government has been promoting avenues to continually diversify the economy to promote economic growth and pursue strategic objectives of job creation, youth empowerment, improved human capital and improved business.
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“If the creative industry is in a mess, investors will not come; that is why we are cleaning the market for film owners to enjoy reward for their work.
“The Nigerian Police Force, through the office of the Inspector General of Police, in 2019 trained our officers to improve operational efficiency.
“On completion of the training, the various enforcement teams engaged on raids to markets and outlets for illicit films and video works across the six geo-political zones
“The efforts led to the seizure of about One Billion Naira worth of adulterated and pornographic DVDs, CDs and other items, with the arrest and ongoing prosecution of the culprits,” he said.
Thomas congratulated the newly promoted and decorated officers, saying they were “recognised for their hard work and selfless service to fatherland.” (NAN)