Film Makers Berate Census Board
The Film, Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN) has cried out over what it described as an attempt by the National Film and Video Censorship Board to kill the Nigerian movie industry.
National Secretary of the body, Mr. Emmanuel Ugo, told journalists that the film and video censorship board has concluded plans to stifle the progress made by Nollywood over the years by introducing draconian policies aimed at undermining the growth of the industry.
According to Ugo, the Director-General of the Board, Mr. Emeka Mba, recently introduced a new distribution framework that, amongst other things, mandates movie producers and marketers to have a N30 million bank or insurance bond before they can be licensed to continue to operate.
He revealed that part of the draconian policies also introduced by Mba aimed at favouring some unknown interest includes mandatory ownership of offices in all regional headquarters of the country by producers and marketers before they can be re-licensed, employment of legal and account officer within the offices and an upgrade of the companies to limited liability companies.
Mr. Ugo said although his association has gone to court to challenge the new policies, Mba has started to arrest some members of the association under the guise of threatening his life.
According to him, some members who have been arrested and taken to unknown destinations include the immediate past president of FVPMAN, Mr. Elochukwu Anigbogu; the current chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Isikaku; Mr. Hyacinth Onwuka and Mr. Okwui Eneowo.
“We are not against the new distribution network as proposed by the censors board. It is the manner the D.G. is going about it that we don't like. How can you tell us to deposit N30 million bond for license. The way and manner our members are being arrested now shows the insecurity of the board and the ulterior motive behind the new policy,” he stated.
He appealed to President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua to call Mba to order so as to safeguard the legacy of the movie industry.