Behind the scene | 9 March 2007 14:53 CET


Movie producers, marketers and distributors under the name coalition of Association of Nigeria Film/Video Producers, Marketers and Distributors are set to battle the National Film and Video Censors Board over the new distribution and exhibition network.

Entertainment Cafe learnt that the Biodun Ibitola-led coalition is protesting the N500,000 licensing fee renewable every two years and the N50 million working capital imposed by the board. At a world press conference held recently by the group, there was a peaceful protest by members who carried placards with inscriptions such as: “Emeka Mba is an agent of apartheid”, "Nollywood is developed by distributors", “Reform or Deform Emeka Mba 45 Days Haba”, "This is strangulation not reformation", "Emeka Mba stop arrogance and abuse of power", etc.

Speaking on behalf of the marketers, Ibitola said that the reform is totally unacceptable as it is meant to drive them out of business. He alleged that the only operator favoured by the new policy is Nu Metro, a South African company that the Director-General of the Censors Board once worked with its parent company named Multi Choice.

Investigations revealed that the marketers, who have been meeting virtually on daily basis on the issue, are fighting tooth and nail to compel the Censors Board to rescind its decision to impose the new fees. As part of the war against the Emeka Mba-led censors board, the coalition of marketers organised a stakeholders' forum at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja. Also, the association has been distributing handbills and flyers as part of its protest. Apart from the new N500,000 licensing fee, the censors board wants the marketers to how evidence of company capitalisation in bank or insured bond to the tune of N50 million naira with effect from March 1, 2007.

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