The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has tasked stakeholders in the nation’s movie industry to fashion out a structured system of distribution that will guarantee return on investment and protect Nigerians from exposure to unwholesome products.
The Minister made the call in Lagos on Tuesday while declaring open a stakeholders meeting on the National Enhanced Exhibition and Distribution System.
“There is a compelling and urgent need to properly structure the movie industry, both as an enterprise and a cultural product, beyond the seemingly unwieldy situation that exposes the sector to unwholesome activities detrimental to the nation. The movie industry as a major component of our nation’s creative industry is strategic to the broad national plan agenda, with tremendous capacity for wealth creation through jobs and incomes for our people,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the aim of enacting a structured system of distribution is to provide guides, safeguards, and benchmarks for players through regulatory practices or frameworks, which can invariably result in performance tracking and data availability to ascertain market depth of the distributive and exhibition sub-sector.
He acknowledged the marginal successes made by players in the sub-sector, but noted that the gains are short-circuited by visible distortions that make quackery thrive, thus depriving the nation the tremendous contribution that otherwise should have been possible.
The minister stressed that the unacceptable gap in the distribution and exhibition of films and videos must be addressed, and underscored the need to reform the movie industry in such a way that obscenity and violence are cautiously moderated in Nigerian films.
“Therefore, I urge the forum to work closely based on a collective understanding that we share the common goal of tackling these identified challenges, and come out with an arrangement that will stand the test of time. It is therefore my hope and desire that at the end of this exercise, we will have a pool of bona fide operators who have working knowledge and appreciation of the benefits of upholding laid down regulations guiding film distribution and exhibition in Nigeria,” he said.
In her remarks, the Director General of the National Film and Video Censor Board, Ms. Patricia Bala, said the meeting was convened to generate broad-based ideas into formulating a policy that will streamline movie distribution and exhibition in Nigeria.