The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has denied the reports that he said the Federal Government will ban Nigerian movies and music videos produced abroad.
Mohammed was quoted to have made the statement during his recent visit to the headquarters of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) in Lagos.
Since the purported ban comment, artistes and stakeholders in the Nigerian entertainment industry have lambasted the Federal Government, protesting what they described as insensitive and irresponsible.
However, Mohammed said his statement at COSON was misrepresented.
Speaking on Wednesday, July 19, at the end of a two-day Creative Industry Financing Conference, at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, the Minister said the 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 and films would or must be produced in Nigeria.
“All I said was that if a programme is designated as a Nigerian 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 the heat of the ban statement earlier ascribed to Mohammed, Peter Okoye of P-Square was one of the celebrities who first slammed the government for attempting to control an industry which it never supported and invested in.
Following his outburst on Instagram, a youth group had called for Peter’s arrest for ‘insulting’ the Federal Government.