The National Film and Video Censors Board said it has seized uncensored, unclassified and pirated films worth about N150 million in Edo, Kaduna and Lagos States.
The Executive Director of the board, Adedayo Thomas, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria.
Thomas said the action was part of the board’s enforcement operations for the last quarter of the year, aimed at sanitising the Nigerian market of all illegal films.
Thomas said: “The board has scaled up its enforcement activities for the remaining parts of the year, and we have seized these items from Alaba International Market in Lagos, Benin City in Edo State and Kaduna.
“The market value of these items is N150 million and this will serve as deterrent and also prevent such illegal products from selling in the market at the expense of genuine ones.
“We are working towards taking the culprits to court very soon.”
Thomas explained that the board had lined up nationwide raid against uncensored and pirated films to ensure that such products were completely removed from the movie market.
He noted that the motion picture industry was not all about entertainment, but a big business that must be encouraged and protected to grow and bring profit to its investors.
He said: “The creative industry is acclaimed to have contributed 1.4 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP, and we believe it can do more.
“If the sector is in a mess, investors will not come in, that is why we are cleaning the market for the film owners to enjoy the rewards for their works.
“Let our producers, actors and actresses be seen as contributing not just to the growth of the movie industry, but to their own welfare as well.”
The Executive secretary said that the board was also working towards ensuring that stakeholders strictly adhered to the terms of bringing foreign films into the market.
Thomas said: “Any foreign film that has to be sold in the country needs the permission of the owner abroad.
“Besides, such films must be sent to the NFVCB for it to ascertain whether the film connotes the Nigeria’s code and classification.”
The executive director, therefore, urged all filmmakers operating in the country to ensure total compliant with the NFVCB regulations to avoid legal actions.
Thomas also urged those operating without licence to register at the nearest office to avoid being apprehended.
He said that the board had articulated an integrated public enlightenment strategy aimed at raising awareness of stakeholders in the film industry.