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FG bans ‘money rituals’, smoking, other vices in Nollywood movies

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has banned the depiction of money rituals, smoking, and other vices in Nollywood films.

This decision was announced by the Executive Director/CEO of the National Film and Video Censors Board, Dr. Shaibu Husseini, during a National Stakeholders Engagement on Smoke-Free Nollywood held in Enugu on Wednesday.

Dr. Husseini shared that the government had recognized an urgent need to address the influence of such negative depictions in movies. “Today, we are facing an industry emergency requiring bold and ambitious actions from all parents, guardians, and stakeholders,” he said.

He explained that the move to ban these depictions began when his predecessor approached the former Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

They agreed on the need for a subsidiary legislation to curb the display of smoking in Nigerian movies, and saw the necessity to include money rituals, ritual killings, and the glamorization of other crimes.

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Dr. Husseini announced, “I am delighted to announce to you that the Minister of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, pursuant to section 65 of the NFVCB Act 2004, has approved the regulation. The minister has approved the Prohibition of Money Ritual, Ritual Killing, Tobacco, Tobacco Products, Nicotine Product Promotion and Glamorisation display in Movies, Musical Videos, and Skits Regulations 2024.”

He added that the approved regulation has been forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Justice for gazetting.

The event, organized by the NFVCB and Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), was attended by movie producers, directors, actors, and leaders of various guilds and associations in the Nigerian film industry. The aim was to educate stakeholders about the dangers of smoking and other harmful behaviors depicted in films.

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Dr. Husseini emphasized the negative influence such portrayals have on teens and young adults, who are the largest audience segment for Nigerian movies. He said, “Besides the health implications, glamourising smoking in films poses a negative influence on teens and young adults who constitute the largest segment of Nigeria movie viewers.”

To support this initiative, the NFVCB plans to conduct detailed enlightenment programs in secondary schools, tertiary institutions, local communities, faith groups, and other institutions. “The NFVCB supports smoke-free movies and supports smoke-free Nollywood. We therefore seek your collaboration to develop creative content that discourages smoking and promotes positive health messages,” Dr. Husseini urged.

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In conclusion, Dr. Husseini assured that the NFVCB is prepared to lead this initiative, emphasizing its commitment to the progress of the film industry. “The NFVCB is well prepared to take leadership in this regard and has planned and began implementing innovative ways to achieve its mandate,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NFVCB is responsible for registering all film and video outlets across the country and maintaining a register of such outlets, among other functions.

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