The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) has indicated interest to work with the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) towards a policy realignment that will mandate the inclusion of at least 20 percent of cultural content in films produced in Nigeria.

Executive Secretary of NICO, Otunba Biodun Ajiboye made this known in his office when the Executive Director of the Board, Dr. Shaibu Husseini led members of his management team to pay him a courtesy visit on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 to explore areas of collaboration towards achieving the renewed hope agenda of the present administration.

According to him, the level at which Nigerian films have permeated the social fabrics of the world is a clear indication that our films are the most potent instrument for behavioral modification and therefore plays a very important role in our development as a people.

He disclosed that unless Nigeria gets to the point of having a proper cultural identity and character, its search for a national identity will remain a mirage. “Until a nation has a proper cultural identity, it cannot have a national identity. When a nation does not have a national identity, it cannot have a national character”.

“The Chinese saw culture as a very important and potent part of life and national development. When they were trying to come up with the Chinese revolution, culture was the most important thing they took with them and you and I can see where China is today in the equation of the world”.

“We need to reach a consensus between us in the form of policy realignment. We want to ask humbly that if you can allow at least 20 percent of cultural content into all the films you want to approve as a matter of policy. We cannot afford as a people to ignore or neglect our cultural antecedents and therefore must return to our cultural values”

“If we are able to retrace our steps back to our cultural values, we are likely to have a saner society than what we have today. All these issues of banditry, kidnapping and corruption are as a result of the neglect of our cultural values. We stand before the world today to either rescue Nigeria or allow it to perish. We have a responsibility to key into the renewed hope agenda of Mr. President such that in every situation we find ourselves, we should be able to contribute positively to the success of this administration”, he said.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Director of the NFVCB, Dr. Shaibu Husseini said since the Board has the responsibility of regulating the content, exhibition and distribution of films and whatever the Nigerian society watches, the visit is to seek ways of partnership with the Institute in carrying out its orientation programmes where they can have a spot to talk to people about the need for media literacy.

In his words: “Media literacy has a lot to do with understanding and appreciating the different kinds of the contents people watch. We are moving from a stage where we are no longer bordered about censorship because we don’t want people to claim that we are stopping them from expressing their creative abilities”.

“We are also moving to a scheme where we want to be encouraging movies that speaks to us a country on how resilient we are as a people. We are also thinking about encouraging a lot of people to go into language films because we are fast losing our languages and I know one thing NICO has institutionalized and is known for her indigenous language programme.

“We want to partner with you in our effort to encourage a lot of language movies. We want a situation where we can produce more language movies where we can also help NICO in their instructional language programmes”,

Caleb Nor
Media Asst.-ES
NICO, Abuja