May 25, 2024

We ‘re not banning money rituals, smoking in movies — NFCVB

We ‘re not banning money rituals, smoking in movies — NFCVB

By Benjamin Njoku

The Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, Dr.Shaibu Husseini has clarified the viral reports, claiming that he said the Federal Government had approved the prohibition of money rituals and smoking in Nigerian films.

Husseini reportedly made the announcement at a national stakeholders engagement on smoke-free Nollywood in Enugu during the week. The event was organised by the NFVCB in collaboration with Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA.

Reacting to the report, Hussein said , “I did not announce a ban on smoking, and ritual scenes in movies at the (southeast zone) stakeholders engagement on a healthy screen and the campaign to have a smoke free Nollywood. No, I didn’t.

“What I mentioned in a speech that I have shared was the existence of a regulation, (NFVCB Regulations 2024) that in line with global best practices prohibits the promotion and glamourization of money ritual, ritual killing, tobacco, tobacco product, Nicotine products in movies, musical videos and skits. The regulation aims at discouraging the unnecessary depiction, promotion, advertisement, or glamorization of tobacco or nicotine products in movies, musical videos, and skits.

“The regulation demands the display of a health warning for necessary smoking scenes that are required for historical accuracy, or for educational purposes, and to depict a negative lifestyle in movies, musical videos, and skits. The required health warning shall be displayed at the commencement of the work and at the end.” Husseini assured that the NFVCB would not implement any policy that will muzzle creativity.

“Any movie, skit, or musical video that displays or depicts tobacco or nicotine products, brands, or use that is necessary to the realization of a narrative shall be given the appropriate classification (rating) and shall not be shown to persons below the age of 18,” he added.

However, aligning with Hussein’s clarification, former President of Association of Nollywood Core producers, ANCOP, Comrade Alex Eyengho said the conversation at the stakeholders’ engagement centred around the fact that there are laws now guiding smoking tobacco, glorifying money rituals, and rituals of all kinds in Nollywood films, skits and musical videos.

“The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer (ED/CEO of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Dr. Shaibu Husseini did not at any time announce an outright ban of tobacco smoking and money ritual themes in Nollywood. I was at the event in Enugu where he allegedly made this announcement, and I can say with all sense of responsibility that he made no such statement.Husseini made it clear that he would continue to engage stakeholders in the industry on this and other matters, even as he pointed out that he would focus more on classification of films and not censorship. I am also against glamorizing tobacco smoking, money rituals, and other forms of rituals in our films as if it is the norm in our society,”Eyengho stated.