NFVCB DG Clarifies New Regulations on Smoking and Rituals in Films: No Anti-Creativity Provisions

NFVCB DG Clarifies New Regulations on Smoking and Rituals in Films: No Anti-Creativity Provisions

The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has assured that the new regulations concerning smoking, tobacco products, and ritual scenes in movies will not hinder artistic creativity within Nigeria’s entertainment industry.

Dr. Shaibu Husseini, the Executive Director of NFVCB, made this clear in Lagos on Sunday, June 3, 2024, during a meeting with editors and senior journalists. He emphasized that the regulations allow for the depiction of smoking scenes in movies, music videos, and skits when necessary for artistic expression and historical accuracy. However, these scenes must not glamourize tobacco or be sponsored by the tobacco industry.

On May 21, 2024, the NFVCB announced that the Minister of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, had approved the “Prohibition of Money Ritual, Ritual Killing, Tobacco, Tobacco Product, Nicotine Product Promotion, Glamorization, Display in Movies, Musical Videos and Skits” Regulations 2024. This regulation is currently awaiting gazetting by the Federal Government.

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Dr. Husseini clarified, “I did not ban smoking scenes. I did not ban ritual scenes. There are aspects of our culture that you need to display. But what we are saying is that if you have to display these necessary scenes, for historical accuracy, for educational purposes, and to correct a negative lifestyle, you must warn people that these things are not real, that it is not a lifestyle to emulate.”

He further asserted that the regulations are not intended to suppress creativity, and as a performing artist himself, he is committed to supporting the creative industry. Dr. Husseini disclosed ongoing efforts to transform the NFVCB into a National Film and Video “Classification” Board, which will shift from censorship to classification and digitize its processes.

CAPPA’s Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, highlighted the importance of the National Stakeholders Engagement held in Enugu, where the new regulations and a voluntary Code of Practice were unveiled and signed by 51 Nollywood stakeholders.

Michael Olaniyan, the In-Country Coordinator of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), added that while the regulations allow for the depiction of smoking in movies, these films must include health warnings.

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