- The Director General of the National Films And Video Censors Board, Rosaline Ode, today commended Nigerian filmmakers on their "compliance" with the Board's "directive against projecting Nigeria in a negative light." Also the display of violence and pornography is now limited, she says.
Speaking in her office while receiving members of Nigeria's parliamentary committee on information and national orientation, Mrs Odeh noted that "fetish, violent and pornographic displays have been down- played by the film makers in recent times," according to a statement issued today by the Nigerian government.
Mrs Odeh however stressed that some "recalcitrant filmmakers" had continued to turn a deaf ear to the directive of the Board in this direction. She did not mention any names.
The Director-General told Nigerian lawmakers that her Board needed to be empowered financially by the government to improve and sustain the growth recorded in the industry, saying that the Board needs a lot of support to conduct workshops, seminars and public enlightenment campaigns for the benefit of the public and stakeholders.
The Chairman of the parliamentary committee and leader of the delegation, Dr Alaba Ojomo, noted that the Board "operated under an un-conducive environment," lacking appropriate equipment, and assured that the issues of improved funding for the Board would be taken to the House for consideration.
Dr Ojomo also reiterated the "need for filmmakers to project Nigeria's image positively in their films." Speaking further, he said he was in Ghana recently and observed that four television channels tuned were all featuring Nigerian movies simultaneously.
It was in this light that he said "wrong signals should not be sent to the international community about Nigeria through films." The government and the Censors Board therefore urge Nigerian filmmakers to assist in the efforts to market Nigeria abroad.
Nigeria has a growing film industry that also exports to several English-speaking African countries. Nigerian films have often been realistic in describing national problems such as violence, criminality and corruption, to the great frustration of politicians. In 1993, the Nigerian government established the National Films and Video Censors Board "to regulate and control the video film industry."
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