A planned move by the federal government to ban the shooting and production of music and video clips outside the country, has drawn the ire of practitioners in the industry.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed had while speaking at the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) House in Lagos, said the proposed ban would help tackle exploitation of perceived loopholes in the Nigerian Broadcasting Code, NBC.
Throwing more light on the matter, the minister said; “The NBC code today as it stands has been exploited and not defined and that’s why movies being directed by Nigerians with Nigerian actors, actresses can be shot in South Africa and then brought back to be consumed in Nigeria. All we are saying is that we are going to amend the code in a manner that it will not be possible for you to exploit any loophole there to go and shoot outside Nigeria film, music or programs that are meant to be consumed in Nigeria”.
Continuing, he added that; “It is not directed at any particular incident, every country should respect the local industry of other countries. For example, in Ghana they introduced a law today that demands visiting actors to pay a thousand dollars to the government coffers while visiting directors and producers pay 5,000 dollars. We must create an enabling environment and also generate revenue from our creative industry. The argument is simple, when you go to shoot a film offshore, you use the work force of that country to develop the capacity of that country and you improve the economy of that country and that is what we are trying to do here.”
The proposed ban has however drawn the ire of scores of entertainers who have condemned the proposed move especially with the fact that the FG has not provided an enabling environment where such videos can be shot and produced competitively on a local scale.
In his reaction to the proposed ban, one of Nigeria’s busiest music video producers Jude “Engees” Okoye took to his Instagram page to slam the proposed move by the FG.
He wrote; “An industry they NEVER encouraged, supported or empowered is what they now want to control. Let all of you stop running to abroad when you are sick,” he wrote in part.
Jude added; “You people are the ones refusing to fix our health facilities so u travel out when mosquito bite una. So why tell us where to record when u can’t provide uninterrupted power here in Nigeria.”
His brother, Peter who is one half of the musical duo, Psquare also lashed out at government over the planned move.
He on his part, he lamented that the entertainers were the ones who redeem the country’s image which is usually soiled by the politicians.
He also said it is at times like this that he is ashamed of being called a Nigerian.