Minister Denies Planned Ban of Externally Produced Videos in Nigeria

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has denied reports credited to him that Nigeria will ban music videos and movies produced abroad for Nigerian audience.

The minister claimed “I didn’t say that henceforth, all music videos and films will be produced in Nigeria, or that the production of music videos or films outside Nigeria will be banned. All I said was that if a programme is designated as a Nigerian (local) content programme, we will amend the Code to ensure that it is produced in Nigeria,”

He said his office was bombarded with calls from concerned Nigerians when the last edition of the “Big Brother Naija” show, produced in South Africa, was airing adding he subsequently directed the National Broadcasting Commission to investigate the circumstances surrounding the controversy.

He disclosed that the findings from that informed the decision to amend relevant sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code to prevent a repeat of that development.

He said government’s decision to amend the National Broadcasting Code is aimed at encouraging local content production in Nigeria noting that the creative industry has the potential to create one million jobs in three years if local content is produced in Nigeria but that this cannot be realized if jobs meant for Nigerians are exported to other countries.

He reiterated government’s decision that any programme meant for Nigerians be produced in Nigeria, explaining that he does not intend to develop the economy of other countries at the expense of the Nigerian economy.

He noted that the process of amending the Nigeria Broadcasting Code is currently going on pointing out that anyone who intends to produce a reality show or similar programmes for Nigerians cannot take the production of such shows outside Nigeria.

Alhaji Mohammed said the Broadcasting Code is also being amended to help develop the local football league.

He said the amendment is not just about the creative industry but in a manner to develop the Nigerian economy. He disclosed that he wanted the Broadcasting Code amended such that companies will also spend at least 30% on local leagues of what they spend to bring foreign leagues to broadcast stations in Nigeria.