Ban On Rituals In Nollywood Movies, Not To Stifle Creativity But To Discourage Promoting Harmful Content – NFVCB Clarifies

Dr Shaibu Husseini, Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), has denied accusations that he announced a ban on smoking and ritual scenes in Nigerian films.

This is coming after a statement made on the ban at a national stakeholders’ engagement on Smoke-free Nollywood in Enugu on Wednesday went viral, with Husseini decrying the dangers of smoking to health and how such portrayals in films could negatively influence the younger generation.

In an interview with The Nation on Thursday, Husseini said that he was misquoted and quoted out of context about the subject.

Husseini stated as a classification board, the NFVCB will not impose any policies that limit innovation.

READ MORE: FG Bans Money Ritual, Smoking Scenes In Nollywood Movies

In his words, “My attention has been drawn to a couple of trending headlines that suggested that the FG, through the NFVCB, has “banned smoking and ritual scenes in Movies.” Interestingly, there is no part of the report following the headline where I was quoted to have announced the ban. 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 was 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.

“The regulation demands the display of a health warning for necessary smoking scenes that are required for historical accuracy, or for educational purposes, and to depict a negative lifestyle in movies, musical videos, and skits. The required health warning shall be displayed at the commencement of the work and at the end.

“Although we will issue an official position and cause the regulation to be published upon gazetting, I want to assure that as a classification board, we will not implement any policy that will muzzle creativity. 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. So there is no truth in the headlines”