The Executive Secretary of Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board (LSFVCB), Bamidele Balogun, has been suspended.
Mr Balogun was suspended for announcing a five per cent levy on audio and visual contents produced and sold in the state.
Gawat Jubril, the Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on New Media, announced this in a statement published on Twitter on Friday.
‘‘Lagos State has no five per cent levy on audio and visual contents of physical and digital platforms. The Executive Secretary of Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board has been suspended,’’ his tweet read.
The announcement comes in the wake of a viral letter shared by IROKO TV’s Jason Njoku, seeking the payment of five per cent levy “on all audio and visual content on all physical and digital platforms”.
The letter, which was dated August 31 and addressed to Mr Njoku, was signed by the embattled LSFVCB boss.
On August 11, Mr Balogun issued a 30-day notice on content producers in Nigeria to duly register their contents with the LSFVCB.
He gave the notice while unveiling a platform by the Performing Musicians Employers Association (PMAN) and Lafrique Promedia to track and generate revenue for the entertainers.
“Practitioners and stakeholders are also informed that henceforth, all audio and visual contents produced and sold within Lagos State shall attract the payment of five per cent levy on each item,’’ he was quoted as saying at the gathering.
His statements generated criticism and outcry by the creative community and entertainment stakeholders in Lagos State and beyond.
A shocked state government distanced itself from Mr Balogun’s directive and advised the entertainment industry to disregard the said publication.
“The government hereby dissociates itself from the said announcement in the media,” Mr Jubril said in the statement, adding that Mr Balogun “has been suspended, pending an administrative enquiry.”
‘‘Entertainment and tourism practitioners are partners in our effort to ensure that Lagos State remains Africa’s leader in entertainment.
“The Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration is not insensitive to the fact that the industry has been badly hit by the effects of the COVID -19 pandemic and empathises with this and other sectors of the economy.”
FLASH: LAGOS STATE HAS NO 5% LEVY ON AUDIO AND VISUAL CONTENTS OF PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL PLATFORMS …. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE LAGOS STATE FILM AND VIDEO CENSORS BOARD SUSPENDED. #ForAGreaterLagos pic.twitter.com/5QQEx4O4KG
— Gawat Jubril A. (@Mr_JAGss) September 4, 2020