By Dubem George
The National Film and Video Censors Board, the apex film regulatory agency in the country, has destroyed uncensored, unclassified and pornographic films and videos valued at over N25 million, in Jos and Bauchi.
The burning exercises which were conducted under the watchful eyes of the executive director of the Board, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, and some Board members is in continuation of the fight by the Board to eradicate all uncensored, unclassified and pornographic films and video works from the Nigerian market.
The Board had carried out similar exercises in Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Benin, Onitsha, Port Harcourt and Akure before the pandemic began. Over half a billion Naira worth of uncensored, unclassified and pornographic materials have been destroyed so far.
Speaking during the burning exercise conducted at the North Central Zonal Office Jos at the Ministry of Environment’s burning site at Mista Ali along Zaria Road Jos, Adedayo stated that the Board has taken the fight to the perpetrators of this hideous economic crime after all entreaties were unsuccessful. According to him, the Board cannot fold its arms and watch some criminal gangs stifle the film industry and create untold hardship to filmmakers. This burning exercise today shows that the Board has zero tolerance to uncensored, and unclassified films and video works. He assured film makers not to be deterred by the activities of these criminal gangs as the Board is leaving no stone unturned to bring them to book. He declared, “despite the Covid 19 pandemic, we are here today carrying out this exercise as a sign of solidarity with the filmmakers to reassure them they are together with the Board in this battle to rid the market of uncensored and unclassified contents”.
The Executive Director, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas also stressed on the duties of the National Film and Video Censors Board and the importance of keeping the society sane and sanitized of unwholesome movies that will not contribute positively to the wellbeing of Nigerian citizens. The executive director reiterated that parents should pay watchful attention to what their wards watch using the burning exercise as deterrent to all who engage in sales and distribution of such movie contents.
The exercise was graced by a representative of the Plateau State Commissioner for Environment in the person of Mr Albert Chimang.
In Bauchi, the executive director carried out another burning exercise where he was assisted by a board member, Alhaji Babagan Sabo. The message was the same, “ the Board is sending a clear message to those engaged in the business of producing unclassified and uncensored films and video works to henceforth desist from such activities as there is no hiding place for them anymore”. He stated that the Board has trained over 150 staff of the Board in the various Police colleges to combat the activities of these criminals. He also commended the collaboration with the Nigeria Police in a bid to sanitize the market.
Adedayo noted that filmmakers have no excuse not to censor their movies, as the Censors Board has introduced virtual censorship of films to help filmmakers censor their films during this lockdown. The censorship and issuance of certificate is done in one week.
As a way of encouraging the staff of the Board, the management recently rewarded various staff who have excelled in the performance of their duties. They were rewarded with cash gifts and commendation letters.