AMP, FRENGAN back NFVCB on smoke-free Nollywood

National Film and Video Censors Board NFVCB Shaibu Husseini

The Association of Movie Producers (AMP) and Federation of Registered Nollywood Guilds and Associations (FRENGAN) have thrown their weight behind the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) in its bid to regulate the promotion of smoking in movies, musical videos and skits.

This follows a stakeholders’ engagement on smoke-free Nollywood organised by the NFVCB and the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) in Enugu on Tuesday, May 21.

According to the organisers, the event was designed to address the promotion, subtle advertising and glamourisation of tobacco and nicotine products in Nollywood movies.

Speaking at the event, executive director of the NFVCB Dr. Shaibu Husseini emphasised the need for ambitious actions from all stakeholders to protect young people from harmful content.

He noted that the board, in collaboration with CAPPA, has developed a subsidiary regulation to cater to smoking in movies, as this aspect was not explicitly addressed in the extant law.

Speaking about the event, AMP president Blessing Ebigieson said the smoke-free Nollywood campaign, stressing that movies should include health warnings and NFVCB classification symbols.

“This measure will protect our young ones who consume harmful content from streaming platforms”.

She described the workshop as very timely to address the glamorization of tobacco and nicotine products in movie scenes, which the NFVCB and CAPPA are sensitizing the industry practitioners in line with world best practices and in accordance with the law, Ebigieson said.

She added that Husseini “has shown resilience, integrity, and purposeful leadership within two months in office” and “is seriously hitting the ground running in all facets to reposition the industry.”

FRENGAN president, Victor Okhai, who is also the president of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), said the “decision on smoke-free Nollywood was consultative. The industry was well carried along and we are a responsible industry. We felt it was our corporate social responsibility to the public to make sure they realise that cigarette is dangerous. After the robust engagements, we concluded we shall not be part of the influencers for the cigarette industry.”