The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has clarified a statement attributed to him that the Federal Government will ban production of Nigerian movies and music videos abroad.
The clarification became necessary after an earlier report suggested that he made such statement when he visited the headquarters of the Copyright Society of Nigeria in Lagos.
While reacting to the outrage and backlashes that followed the statement from artists in the country, the information minister said he was not appointed Minister to develop the economy of other countries at the expense of the Nigerian economy.
Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday, the Minister said the Creative industry’s potential of creating 1 million jobs in three years cannot be realized if jobs meant for Nigerians are being exported to other countries.
He averred that the federal government would not tamper with the aspirations and rights of the artistes and producers.
He said, “At COSON, I said that I would work to amend the National Broadcasting Commission’s code to ensure that if a product is designated a Nigerian product, it must be produced in Nigeria. 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. I didn’t say I’ll ban the production of Nigerian movies and videos overseas.”
In a related development, the minister said the Broadcasting Code is also being amended to help develop the local football league.
“This (amendment) is not just about the Creative Industry. We are also going to ensure that the NBC Code is amended in a manner that if any company in Nigeria today invests a million dollars in promoting or supporting any (football) team or league outside Nigeria, I want the Broadcasting Code to be amended to the effect that it will not allow that programme to be aired unless that company supports the Nigerian League with a percentage that will not be less than 30 per cent of what was spent.
“This is because we cannot continue to develop the economies of the other parts of the world from the sweat of Nigerians and at the expense of the Nigerian economy.”