Dr. Shaibu Husseini, Executive Director/CEO of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), has announced that the Federal Government has approved the prohibition of money rituals and the glamorization of vices in Nigerian films.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Husseini disclosed this during a National Stakeholders Engagement on Smoke-Free Nollywood held in Enugu on Wednesday. The event was organized by the NFVCB and Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA). It brought together movie producers, directors, actors, and leaders of various guilds and associations in the Nigerian film industry.

Husseini emphasized the urgent need for bold and ambitious actions from all parents, guardians, and stakeholders to address the industry’s current challenges. “When my predecessor approached the former Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, about the need for subsidiary legislation to curtail the display of smoking in Nigerian movies, he saw the need to include money rituals,” Husseini said.

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He added that the new regulations also cover ritual killings and the glamorization of other crimes to further sanitize the film industry. “Today, I am delighted to announce that the Minister of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, pursuant to section 65 of the NFVCB Act 2004, has approved the regulation. The minister has approved the Prohibition of Money Rituals, Ritual Killing, Tobacco, Tobacco Products, Nicotine Product Promotion, and Glamorization display in Movies, Musical Videos, and Skits Regulations 2024.”

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Husseini stated that the approved regulations have been forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Justice for Gazette. The sensitization program aims to educate stakeholders on the dangers of smoking in Nigerian movies. He pointed out that besides the health implications, glamorizing smoking in films negatively influences teens and young adults, who are the largest segment of Nigerian movie viewers.

The NFVCB is set to undertake detailed enlightenment programs in secondary schools, tertiary institutions, local communities, faith groups, and other institutions. “The film industry occupies a central position in the entertainment and creative sector, and it is imperative that we continue to prioritize its progress,” Husseini said.

The NFVCB supports smoke-free movies and seeks collaboration to develop creative content that discourages smoking and promotes positive health messages. “After a series of engagements, the NFVCB, in collaboration with CAPPA, decided to implement ‘subsidiary regulations’ to address smoking in movies, as this aspect was not explicitly covered in the existing law. The NFVCB is well prepared to take leadership in this regard and has begun implementing innovative ways to achieve its mandate,” he added.

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The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NFVCB’s duties include registering all film and video outlets across the country and maintaining a register of such registered outlets, among other functions.