The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has announced that the Federal Government has taken steps to amend the Nigeria Broadcasting Code to discourage the production of Nigerian movies and music outside the shore of the country.
Lai Mohammed said over the weekend that the government cannot allow Nigerians to produce local content in foreign countries which inversely affects the local job market.
“This government has agreed that henceforth, whatever we consume in Nigeria in terms of music and films, must be made in Nigeria,” he said during a visit to the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).
“We cannot continue to go to South Africa or any other country to produce our films and then send them back to be consumed in Nigeria.”
“The Broadcasting Code and the Advertising Code are very clear on this”.
“For you to classify a product as a Nigerian product, it must have a certain percentage of Nigerian content,” he said.
“When they get there, they will patronise the economy of that country and then bring the products back to Nigeria for us to consume.
“It is like somebody going to China or Japan to make a product that looks like palm wine and bring it back home to label it Nigerian palm wine,” he added.
The minister remarked that the action of artistes is a breach of the country’s broadcasting code that classifies content to be Nigerian when a percentage is produced in the country.
He advised that if the content is produced locally, Nigerians will get jobs and the money spent in foreign economies will remain locally to develop the country.
The minister has come under a lot of fire as Nigerians have reacted to his announcement. Artistes like Peter Okoye, one half of the Nigerian music duo P-Square, expressed his distaste in the minister’s announcement saying that he is sometimes “ashamed to be a Nigerian”.
Dear FG, for your information! All the Shame way una dey bring for dis our country na we dey entertainers dey cover una Nash! Ndi ala #SMH
— Peter Okoye MrP (@PeterPsquare) July 16, 2017
Here are some other reactions:
@GEJonathan gave Nollywood a grant of $200 million and wasn't a London resident. Lai Mohammed, think of this before threatening Nollywood!
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) July 16, 2017
"Minister Face Your Work" – Ruggedman tells Lai Mohammed as he reacts to FG's plan to ban production of Nigerian music & movies abroad pic.twitter.com/Xul6qdf40A
— Kemi Ariyo (@d_problemsolver) July 17, 2017