I Didn’t Pronounce Ban On Smoking And Ritual Scenes In Movies – Shaibu Husseini Clears Air

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The Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Shaibu Husseini, has refuted claims that he announced the approval of the prohibition of money rituals and smoking in Nigerian films by the Federal Government.

Multiple news sources reported that Husseini made this statement during a national stakeholder’s engagement on smoke-free Nollywood in Enugu.

The event, which was organized by the NFVCB and Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), was attended by movie producers, directors, actors, as well as leaders of various guilds and associations in the Nigerian film industry.

However, Husseini clarified in a statement released on social media on Thursday.

He said:

“I did NOT announce a ban on ‘smoking, or smoking, and ritual scenes in movies’ at the (southeast zone) stakeholders engagement on a healthy screen and the campaign to have a smoke free Nollywood which held in Enugu in collaboration with @CAPPAfrica. No, I did NOT.

“What I mentioned in a speech that I have shared here is the existence of a regulation (NFVCB Regulations 2024) that in line with global best practices prohibits the PROMOTION and GLAMOURISATION of Money Ritual, Ritual Killing, Tobacco, Tobacco product, Nicotine products in movies, musical videos and skits.

The regulation aims at discouraging the ‘unnecessary’ depiction, promotion, advertisement, or glamourisation of tobacco or nicotine products in movies, musical videos, and skits.”

Husseini assured that the NFVCB would not implement any policy that will muzzle creativity.

He added:

“Any movie, skit, or musical video that displays or depicts tobacco or nicotine products, brands, or use that is necessary to the realization of a narrative shall be given the appropriate classification (rating) and shall not be shown to persons below the age of 18.”

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Recall that Kanayo O. Kanayo, a renowned Nollywood actor, has expressed his strong opposition to the ban imposed by the Nigerian government on money rituals in films.

Alongside other influential figures in the country’s movie industry, he firmly disagrees with the new restrictions implemented by the government.

The ban, which encompasses rituals and other portrayals in films, music videos, and skit contents, was approved under section 65 of the NFVCB Act 2004 by the Minister of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa.

Kanayo criticized the policy, referring to it as “unreasonable” and questioning the rationale behind Barrister Hannatu Musa Musawa’s endorsement of such limitations on filmmakers.

In his words, “Arrant nonsense. This minister has no work, just like lair Mohammed.”
Additionally, veteran musician Mike Okri expressed his doubts about the government’s intentions, suggesting the ban might be an attempt to undermine the film industry.
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