The Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that filmmakers might need to get a permit while filming in the state to avoid the incessant harassment by street urchins popularly known as area boys.
Mr Sanwo-Olu said this during an interview on Politics Today on Channels TV.
He spoke against the backdrop of a recent outcry by a Nollywood actress, Toyin Abraham, who lamented the continuous harassment she and her colleagues encounter while filming at different locations in the state.
“If you are going to film somewhere, there are rules that will guide you. Maybe you might need just a little permit or you just need to tell the owner of the property that these are the things you are doing. I think that way, you will have easier access to be able to do your thing easily,’’ he said.
The governor also suggested that filmmakers seek proper permission from private property owners before proceeding to shoot at their facility.
‘‘But part of the problem we have in Lagos is that everyone thinks that everything is open to everyone. Nobody has a monopoly of anything,’’ he added
Like Abraham, her colleague, Omoni Oboli, recently complained bitterly about the activities of area boys who storm film sets to disrupt shoots and demand various sums of money as ‘settlement.’
Popular Instagram comedian, Zics Aloma, also decried the worrisome trend in a recent interview with Premium Times. The funnyman said a major challenge he faces while shooting his comedy skits is finding an ideal location that is free with no area boy around.
According to him, not only do they disrupt his shoots, they also demand outrageous sums from creatives like himself who are struggling to create quality content and earn a decent living.
‘‘Those Omo Onile can quote a whooping N100,000 or N150,000. Then if you are an excellent negotiator, you can beat it down to N10,000. If you don’t pay those people, they won’t let you shoot. They are always many sometimes and they would not let you shoot. Those are the challenges you face in Lagos especially,’’ Zicsaloma said.
The governor also addressed the issue of the suspension of nightclubs and bars in the state as part of efforts to check the spread of COVID-19.
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