By Rukayat Adeyemi
Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, the Executive Director/CEO, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has extolled the U.S. streaming giant, Netflix for its willingness to acquire Nollywood films on its platform.
Thomas gave the commendation on Thursday during an interactive session at a two-day conference organised by the board with the theme: “Nigeria Digital Content Regulation” held from Dec. 1 to Dec. 2, in Ikeja, Lagos State.
According to Thomas, Netflix has special interest in African stories, especially Nigerian stories, and it is always willing to cooperate with relevant authorities in line with laws of the land.
“I want to specially appreciate Netflix for its interest in Nollywood films and its willingness to partner and listen to us as regulators.
“However, we believe we can do more for the betterment of all players in our dear film industry for the sector to contribute more to national economy.
“The Nigerian Entertainment and Creative Industry has considerably grown widely with a positive outlook, opening up new business models along its value chain.
“This may not be dissociated from the appreciation and adoption of new media, technological innovations, trends and inputs, in which Netflix and other streaming media are crucial stakeholders.
“From the traditional film, music, stand-up comedy, celluloid cinemas, video cassette, DVD, and satellite television; just anybody can produce and showcase their digital contents online now.
“Consumers can access contents through subscription video on demand, quality has improved, entertainment value driven higher, increased forex earnings and easing of pressure on Nigeria’s unemployment rate, amongst others,” he said.
The NFVCB boss said film regulation in the digital age was a global challenge that calls for the cooperation of all industry players.
He said although the emergence of the digital platforms had brought more global visibility and market to Nigerian films, “there is need to balance business with legality.”
“We are also concerned about our national values and consumer protection, and we are compelled to come up with policies in this regard.
“A Nigeria film is first a Nigerian product, therefore, whoever wants to acquire it must ask if it has been approved by relevant authorities.
“If a film owner offers them a certificate bearing our name, they can verify the authenticity of such certificate from us within 24 hours,” he said.
Thomas said the conference was first of its kind, and was meant to assemble practitioners and various stakeholders in the film ecosystem to brainstorm on creating policies that would regulate streamers and content providers in Nigeria.(NAN)