NFVCB to censor, classify skits, digitise registration process

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Shaibu Husseini, the sixth executive director and director-general of the National Films and Videos Censors Board (NFVCB), says the agency will censor and classify skits.

Husseini, who has been meeting with Nigerian film industry stakeholders regarding classification and censorship, recently outlined some of his plans for the NFVCB during a visit to Lagos on Friday.

He noted that other countries, such as Britain, Kenya, and South Africa, have moved from censorship to classification, hence the need for Nigeria to adapt to the changing times.

“Classification is when we watch your content and give it the rating it deserves. That rating will be displayed on the content so that when the audience is watching, they will know which content to choose from instead of just watching general content and finding something more like violence or nudity in the middle of the film or skit,’’ he said.
Husseini said the board would become digitised so filmmakers could register their works, including skits, seamlessly online.

“We should no longer be doing analogue at a time when we should be talking about digital, and we have agreed to digitalise the process. I found out that one of the reasons people are bypassing the board and releasing films without classification is the tedious process of getting their movies on DVD. It is time-consuming and cumbersome.

Therefore, we are committed to providing a convenient service for filmmakers. They can stay in the comfort of their homes wherever they are, upload their films, pay online, see how the film is being processed, and then print their certificates online,’’ he said.
More plans

Additionally, he stressed the need for the regulatory body to get accurate data to ensure that the film and TV industry moves to the next stage.

Husseini also spoke about his plans to ensure that the motion picture in Nigeria goes smoke-free and engages practitioners cum stakeholders in minimal use of tobacco to mark the world tobacco-free day in Nigeria.

The established film critic and member of several film award boards stressed the need for filmmakers to show responsibility in carrying out their duties.

He noted that if filmmakers are responsible enough to avoid contravening the laws, the NFVCB has no reason to enforce any law because dragging a stakeholder to court doesn’t help the board in its outlined objectives.

The DG also announced plans to embark on a nationwide media literacy campaign to ensure youths are enlightened about what and what not to watch. He said the objective is to also engage women, primarily mothers, in educating them on monitoring what their children watch, which can either mar or make their future.
30th anniversary

Mr Shaibu noted that he wishes to empower further and put to good use the 465 staff of the NFVCB, six zonal offices, and 26 state centres during his tenure.

The NFVCB’s new boss also announced plans for the board’s 30th anniversary. He said the board will be 30 in June 2024, and there are plans to present three publications detailing the board’s progress over the past thirty years. The publications will contain all the necessary details of films classified and censored by the board since its creation.

He said, ‘‘In June, we will present three publications to the public, each marking ten years on the censors’ board. This is also because of the cry for data. We have received information from universities, both local and foreign, asking us for classified films and other information.

‘‘These publications will contain all the classified movies from 1994. They are for documentation, and they will outlive us. Hopefully, we will have a big celebration if we have moved to a new headquarters in Abuja by then. The current one is a rented apartment we have used since 1998. ”

He said the new space, ‘ The Classifier,’ will have a Walk of Fame featuring the names and photographs of living and dead film stakeholders.

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