The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) says it has seized uncensored, unclassified and pirated films worth about N200 million and arrested 12 suspected pirates between March and December, 2017.
Mr. Adedayo Thomas, the Executive Director of the board made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.
Thomas said that pirated items were confiscated at Alaba International Market, Lagos, Kubwa, Banex Plaza and Wuse Market in Abuja, as well as Benin City in Edo and Kaduna.
The seized items include DVD’s, CD’s, Production equipment and copies of several pirated films.
“The Board has scaled up its enforcement activities for the New Year and are intensifying efforts to make this evil business of pirates becomes unbearable for those that have seen it as a means of making quick money.
“The Board will ensure total sanity and get rid of pirates in the industry, while the right owners of works enjoy the fruit of their hard labour,” he said.
According to him, the 12 suspects arrested in Lagos and Abuja would soon be charged to court for prosecution.
Thomas said that such action would serve as deterrent to others thinking of going into such business and prevent such illegal products from selling in the market at the expense of genuine ones.
The Executive Director added that the action was part of the Board’s enforcement operations in sanitising the Nigerian market of illegal films.
He explained that the Board had lined up nationwide raid against uncensored, unclassified and pirated films to ensure that such products were completely removed from the movie market.
The NFVCB boss 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.
Thomas said that the creative industry was acclaimed to have contributed 1.4 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP and can do more.
He commended the Bank of Industry (BoI) and Tonye Princewill, the executive producer of film “79 for supporting the board to discharge its mandate effectively.
“Bank of industry (BoI) support the Censors Board with the sum of N500,000 and three powerful motorcycles, while Tonye Princewill gives the board N500,000 to repair its abandoned operational vehicle used for raiding of pirates on the street.
“BoI and Tonye Prince will have been supporting any drive that would enhance the commercial viability of the films and creative industry.
“Recently, BoI gives two powerful motorcycles to the board as part of machinery needed to carry out its work smoothly.
“I am indeed grateful and happy towards their gesture, and I appeal to other stakeholders, individuals and philanthropists to support and partner with the board to be effective and efficient in discharging its mandate,” he said.
Thomas said that BoI was a major financier of the creative sector, having invested heavily in the development of infrastructure and movie production in the country.