Nigerian Films to Cut Out Money Rituals, Smoking Scenes, Amongst Other Vices

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The Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, is undergoing a significant shift as the Federal Government has approved a ban on depicting money rituals, glamorizing vices, and showcasing tobacco use in films.

Dr. Shaibu Husseini, Executive Director/CEO of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), announced the new regulations at a National Stakeholders Engagement on Smoke-Free Nollywood held in Enugu. The event brought together movie producers, directors, actors, and industry leaders to discuss the importance of these changes.

Husseini emphasized the urgency of addressing these issues within the film industry. “We are facing an industry emergency requiring bold and ambitious actions,” he stated.

The new regulations, titled “The Prohibition of Money Ritual, Ritual Killing, Tobacco, Tobacco Products, Nicotine Product Promotion and Glamorisation display in Movies, Musical Videos and Skits” Regulations 2024, were approved by the Minister of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa.

The decision comes after collaborative efforts between the NFVCB and Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA). Previously, limitations on smoking depictions weren’t explicitly outlined in existing legislation.

Husseini explained the reasoning behind the ban, citing not only health concerns but also the negative influence such portrayals can have on young viewers. “We have also forwarded the approved copy to the Federal Ministry of Justice for Gazette,” he added.

The NFVCB plans to implement these changes through educational programs targeting schools, communities, and faith-based organizations. They aim to work with filmmakers to create content that discourages harmful habits and promotes positive messages.

“The film industry occupies a central position in the entertainment and creative sector,” Husseini said. “The NFVCB supports smoke-free movies and supports smoke-free Nollywood, and we therefore seek your collaboration to develop creative content…”

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