The Executive Director, National Film And Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Alh. Adedayo Thomas, on Thursday, harped on the need to exploit the economic potential of the film industry, especially the evolving streaming services.
Thomas said this at the Second Nigeria Digital Content Regulation Conference held in Lagos.
He noted that Statista, a provider of market and consumer data, said revenue on Video-on-Demand (VOD) segment was projected to reach 868 million dollars by the end of 2025.
The NFVCB boss said the data indicated that revenue from the industry was expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 22.9 per cent from 2021 to 2025.
He said: “As a nation bound by laws, it is expedient for players in the industry to play by a defined code of operation and subject their business activities to the internal laws of the operating geographical space.
“Especially as the ease of doing business policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration continues to expand the scope of opportunities.”
According to him, the Nigeria digital content regulation conference was conceived in 2021 to bring key industry players, policy makers and entrepreneurs together to chart a common front towards repositioning the film industry.
Thomas stated that the conference was an avenue to discuss regulations in the industry, with focus on streaming services and to bring balance and equity to the ecosystem.
“The overall goal of this conference is to create a platform for robust dialogue between the government, through the regulator, and the VOD platforms.
“This is led by the Over-The-Top Streamers, as the government strives to oversee, monitor, moderate and balance the digital phenomenon for all players.
“As the shift from traditional to digital content consumption and the operations of local and international Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming services continue to impact on the growth of the local film industry in Nigeria.
“It has become imperative to convene the second edition of this conference,” he said.
He explained that the conference was designed to shift conversation from censorship, amongst others, to the possibilities and potential of self-regulation in the digital era.
Thomas said this was to ensure that films and video works did not glorify the use of violence, harmful to minors, discriminatory, sexually explicit, likely to undermine national security or encourage illegal or criminal acts, amongst others.
He appreciated President Buhari and the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed for their support, visionary policies and for making the second edition of the conference possible.
The NFVCB boss also lauded partners and sponsors, led by NETLIX for extending a hand of partnership to the industry.
In his keynote address, Dr Babatope Agbeyo, Chairman Cornfield Group of Companies, charged NFVCB to ensure that any film that undermined national security did not get the requisite certificate to be released.
Agbeyo represented by Prof. Tunji Azeez of the Theatre Art Department of Lagos State University (LASU), urged governments to invest in the creative and technology industries as a pathway to a secure and progressive country.
He said: “The creative and technology industries are driven by the youth, which constitutes about 53.7 per cent of the population.
“Nigeria is sixth in the world and first in Africa among countries with the highest population of youths.
“This, for me, is the greatest asset of the country and our leaders must tap into this asset by investing massively in these industries.
“I believe very firmly, that if the government plays its part, the creative industry can be put in the service of the country to reduce insecurity to the barest minimum and build a better Nigeria.”
In his goodwill message, Prof. Aba Tijani, Director-General, National Commission For Museums And Monuments (NCMM) commended the synergy and relationship between the commission and NFVCB.
Tijani lauded the digital streaming service, NETLIX, for internalisating the film industry by creating easy access to subscriber’s account anywhere in the world.
He charged players in the Nigerian creative industry, especially the actors to partner with NCMM to attract the interest of our youths to the museums to preserve the country’s heritage and enable them become museum ambassadors.