The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) on Wednesday carried out a raid on sellers of pornographic and other unclassified local and foreign films at Oshodi Market in Lagos State.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that officers of the board who were trained as Supernumerary (SPY) Police on Illicit Trade, Security and Enforcement Duties, accompanied by men of the Nigeria Police Force, carried out the operations at Oshodi Market.
Multiple-in-One pirated foreign film, local films in DVDs and CDs were among items seized from the vendors, while three suspects were arrested.
NAN reports that NFVCB, is a Federal Government body that regulates the films and video industry in Nigeria.
It is empowered by law to classify all films and videos, whether imported or produce locally.
Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director of NFVCB, said the raid was part of the nationwide enforcement operations against unlicenced and unclassified films recently launched by the board to protect the nation’s movie industry.
He explained that some officers of the board were recently trained at the Nigeria Police College on the rampage against pirated and illegal films and video works across Nigeria.
“The board has scaled up its enforcement activities for the year to ensure that evil business of illegal becomes unbearable for those that have seen it as a means of making quick money.
“As part of the NFVCB zero-tolerance stance against all uncensored and unclassified films, we are working closely with the Nigeria Police.
“One hundred and fifty of our officers have just completed training at the Police College as Spy Police on illicit trade, security and enforcement duties.
“The board will ensure total sanity of the film industry to ensure rightful owners of films and video works enjoy the fruits of their hard labour,” he said.
According to him, those arrested would be made to face the wrath of the law in line with the enabling Acts of the board.
Thomas, however, urged vendors of films to ensure that only films with the classification code were sold by them, adding that all foreign films currently being sold in the Nigerian markets were illegal.
The executive director added that though, the board was not shutting out foreign films and video works, the protection of local content was crucial in its operations.
“Apart from the ones we have in the cinemas, which are licenced by the board, other foreign films available in the markets are illegal products.
“Licencing and classification of imported films 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.
“Then, such films must be sent to us for censorship and classification in order to ascertain whether it connotes with the Nigeria’s classification code,” he said.
Also, Mr Emeka Aduah, the President, Film and Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN), who was part of the raid, commended NFVCB for the initiative and pledged the support of the association.
He, therefore, urged marketers and distributors of films to ensure that they sell only films approved by the board.
“Piracy is a major challenge facing our members, and that is why we are supporting the NFVCB efforts at cleaning the markets.
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