The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), says Mexican Soaps aired on some local Television stations in Nigeria are unclassified and unlicensed.
Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director of the board, stated this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
According to him, many, if not all, of the foreign films, including popular Mexican and Zee World soaps which have flooded local stations in recent times, are unlicensed and unclassified by the board.
“Apart from the ones we have in the cinemas, which are licensed by the board,other foreign films available in the market are illegal.
“Regulating import and export of films/video works is part the board’s mandate, and any foreign film that has to be sold in the country or aired on our local stations needs its approval.
“First, you must show to the board that there is a proper collection of copyright from the owner of the foreign film from the originating country.
“Besides, such films must be sent to us for rating in order to ascertain whether it connotes the Nigeria’s code and classification,” he said.
The executive director added that although the board was not shutting out on foreign films and video works, protecting local content was crucial in its operations.
He therefore urged all film stakeholders operating in the country to ensure total compliance with the board regulations to avoid legal actions.
Thomas explained that plans were being put in place for the board to work in collaboration with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the regulatory agency of the broadcasting industry in Nigeria.
“The NBC is not supposed to allow those films to be aired by our local stations in the first place, if they are not licensed by NFVCB.
“Even video musicals, no matter how small, are not supposed to be aired on our local TV stations, without proper rating and permission from the board.
“However,we have talked with them and by the time we start working together, there will be sanity in what we watch on our TV stations, in terms of foreign contents,”” he said.
According to Mr Thomas, the board has articulated an integrated public enlightenment strategy aimed at raising awareness of consumers, filmmakers and other stakeholders in the industry.
He added that in line with that objective, he had visited NAN, seeking collaboration with it in its war against unclassified works and pirated materials, in order to reposition Nigeria’s motion picture industry.
“We need to collectively work towards regulating what goes out for public consumption, as we build a strong and productive industry,” he said.
NAN reports that the NFVCB is a federal government body that regulates the films and video industry in Nigeria.
The board is empowered by law to classify all films and videos whether imported or produced locally.
It is also the duty of the board to register all films and videos outlet across the country and to keep a register of such registered outlets among other functions.