NFVCB, CAPPA inaugurates campaign against smoking, harmful substances in Nollywood films

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The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) in collaboration with  Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA,) has launched  campaign  against smoking and consumption of other harmful substances in Nollywood films.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that both organisations held a National Stakeholders Engagement on Smoke-Free Nollywood  to sensitise  filmmakers  on Tuesday in Enugu.

Movie producers, directors and actors drawn from different parts of the country, as well as leader of various guilds and associations in the Nigerian film industry were present at event.

In a remark, Dr Shaibu Husseini, Executive Director of NFVCB, said the sensitisation programme was to educate stakeholders on the danger inherent in consumption of smoking in Nigerian movies.

According to him, besides the health implications, glamourisation of smoking in films poses negative influence on teens and young adults who constitute the largest segment of Nigeria movie viewers.

“As you all know, the film industry occupies a central position in the entertainment and creative sector and it is imperative that we continue to place the highest premium on the progress of the film industry.

“The NFVCB supports smoke-free movies and supports smoke-free Nollywood, and we therefore seek your collaboration to develop creative content that discourages smoking and promotes positive health messages.

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Stakeholders at  the National Stakeholders Engagement’ on Smoke-Free Nollywood in Enugu

“In spite the obvious fact that our culture and heritage are part of our existence, we tend to pay less than optimal attention to the movies that are produced.

“This continued until recently when this group, CAPPA decided to reach out to the developers and regulators of the film industry to put an end to the menace of smoking in movies.

“Therefore, after series of engagements, the NFVCB in collaboration with the CAPPA decided to do a ‘subsidiary regulations’ to cater for smoking in movies since this aspect was not expressly spelt out in the extant Law.

“The NFVCB is well prepared to take leadership in this regard and has planned and began implementing innovative ways to achieve its mandate.

“Most especially at  this crucial time when the National Assembly is insisting that there is “Need to Curb the rising spate of cultism, trafficking, consumption of Illicit drugs and other substances among youths in Nigeria”, he said.

The NFVCB helmsman added that the board was set to undertake detailed enlightenment programmes in secondary schools, tertiary institutions, local communities, faith groups and other institutions.

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Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director of CAPPA , said Nollywood has a role to play in ensuring that the growing concerns of non-communicable diseases in Nigeria is addressed.

According to him, there is need to reverse the role movies and music videos play in “the painting   of smoking and tobacco use as a cool way of life.”

“Tobacco is a killer and it currently kills over 8 million people annually, with over 75 percent of this from developing countries, where unfortunately Nigeria belongs.

“Today smoking still remains very prevalent in our movies, in contravention of the NTC Act and the Tobacco Control Regulations 2019, which explicitly prohibits tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorships in movies and entertainment.

“As we tell the Nigerian story, shape our future and build a society that is genuinely productive, we strongly believe that Nollywood has a role to play in stopping non-communicable diseases in Nigeria.

“With more than five million young Nigerians .aged 15 years addicted to smoking cigarettes, our jobs as movie practitioners and parents should include preparing our children for a smoke-free future.

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“I want to specially thank the Executive Director of the NFVCB . for welcoming us with  open arms in support and collaboration for this very important initiative,” he said

He explained that CAPPA)  is  a Pan-African organisation with robust interest  in working with African communities  to build partnerships  towards the promotion and defense  human rights   through corporate and strategic policies and practices.

Earlier, Ali Nuhu, veteran actor and   Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), commended NFVCB and CAPPA for the initiative.

Nuhu, who was represented by Mr Brian Etuk,Director  Public Affairs of NFC,  said the corporation was  willing to engage stakeholders across the country on  issues that will engender growth of the film industry.

“The NFC believes in partnerships that works, collaborations that pull efforts towards the same direction and in this dispensation, the joint efforts by the NFC and NFVCB shall be felt within the film industry.

“This workshop is apt and it takes its ample place in our collective quest of using film/movies to address societal moral issues, which has become prevalent, especially among our youthful population,” he said.

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