The National Films and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) on Friday publicly burnt over 30,000 seized illicit movies and video works worth N100 million in Lagos.
Mr Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director of the board, among other stakeholders in the movie industry, conducted the exercise at NFVCB Office at Alagbon, Ikoyi.
Thomas said that the operation would be a continuous exercise until piracy was completely curbed in the country.
He said that most of the seized materials were pornographic and other obnoxious materials illegally imported into the country.
According to him, the board is strongly determined to stamp out the distribution of illicit movies to safeguard the future of the nation.
“Our collaboration across board has led to massive seizure of pornographic films and other unwholesome video works by our Lagos zonal office.
“That is why we are here to carry out the symbolic burning of the seized items worth N100m.
“We have done this in Abuja, Kaduna and was done at Kano yesterday, while South-East and South-South states will follow suit,” he said.
Thomas said that the board’s strategic approach to improving the creative industry growth through approvals and support for cinemas had led to huge economic impact and increase in revenue growth.
“Recent Box Office earnings indicate that Nigerians spent about N7 billion on tickets at the cinemas in the year 2019, a 200 per cent increase from about N2 billion spent in the year 2018, grossing more than N1billion in December 2019 alone.
“The Nigerian film industry also recently surpassed India’s Bollywood to become the second largest industry on the planet, after Hollywood, and was awarded the new emerging film market.
“We have introduced licensing certificates and labels with digital security features to prevent counterfeiting.
” We have also created a confirmation desk to duly authenticate approved film distributors, exhibitors and video works,” he said.
The Executive Director urged parents and guardians to influence children and their wards to go for only films and video works classified by the board.
Veteran Nollywood actress, Hilda Dokunbo, an Ambassador to the board, commended the exercise, which she said was aimed at protecting the creative industry practitioners’ trade and right.
“It is a beautiful development that illegal materials could be seized and burnt in this country; it is indeed a laudable achievement.
“We say thank you to the board for this legal action taken against pirates,” she said.
Also, Mr Emeka Aduah, Chairman, Film Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, said that the burning of illicit movies had rekindled the hope of Nigerian movie producers and marketers.
“The exercise is a good one, we have not seen such before in the history of the censors board; it is a good way to start the year,” he said.