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Nigeria’s film board clarifies ban on ritual, smoking scenes in Nollywood
Nigeria’s film board clarifies ban on ritual, smoking scenes in Nollywood

Nigeria’s film board clarifies ban on ritual, smoking scenes in Nollywood

The executive director of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) of Nigeria, Shaibu Husseini, has clarified recent reports suggesting that the Federal Government has banned ritual and smoking scenes in Nollywood movies and music videos.


It follows an announcement on Tuesday in Enugu during the NFVCB’s stakeholder engagement on the “#Smoke-Free Nollywood” campaign, organised with Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA).

However, Mr Husseini, on Thursday, clarified, “There have been trending headlines suggesting a ban on smoking and ritual scenes by the NFVCB. However, no part of my speech supports this claim.”(Related articles Nollywood banned from producing ‘money rituals’ films, Kanayo O. Kanayo slams ban on money rituals in Nollywood movies)

He explained that the NFVCB Regulations 2024 prohibit the promotion and glamorisation of money rituals, ritual killings, and tobacco use in movies, music videos, and skits.

He wrote, “What I mentioned in a speech that I have shared here is the existence of a regulation (NFVCB Regulations 2024) that, in line with global best practices, prohibits the Promotion and glamourisation of Money Ritual, Ritual Killing, Tobacco, Tobacco product, Nicotine products in movies, musical videos and skits.”

Mr Husseini emphasised that necessary smoking scenes for historical accuracy or educational purposes must include health warnings at the beginning and end of the content.

He wrote, “The regulation aims at discouraging the “unnecessary” depiction, promotion, advertisement, or glamourisation of tobacco or nicotine products in movies, musical videos, and skits."

"The regulation demands the display of a health warning for necessary smoking scenes that are required for historical accuracy or educational purposes and to depict a negative lifestyle in movies, musical videos, and skits. The required health warning shall be displayed at the commencement of the work and the end.”


He reassured that the NFVCB aims to classify, not stifle creativity, ensuring appropriate ratings for content depicting tobacco or nicotine products without restricting artistic expression.

The official regulation will be published once gazetted (officially announced), providing clear guidelines for filmmakers.

He explained, “Although we will issue an official position and cause the regulation to be published upon gazetting, I want to assure you that as a classification board, we will not implement any policy that will muzzle creativity.

 “Any movie, skit, or musical video that displays or depicts Tobacco or nicotine products, brands, or use that is necessary to the realisation of a narrative shall be given the appropriate classification (rating) and shall not be shown to persons below the age of 18. So there is no truth in the “headlines”.

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